Canada confirmed that there were two attempts by hackers to target Canadian firms

Reports suggested the attacks came from China, but the Canadian government has declined to comment on such suggestions. 

The attacks come at a sensitive time as Canada’s Conservative government decides on whether to approve the $15.1 billion takeover bid of Canadian oil producer Nexen by China’s CNOOC.

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Hackers infiltrate Calgary-based technology firm

A leading international expert on computer hacking says cyber-attacks are increasingly targeting the heart of Canada’s infrastructure, including oil pipelines and major public utilities.

CBC News has confirmed a recent cyber-attack successfully breached a Calgary-based supplier of control systems for electrical power grids, municipal water systems, public transit operations, and most of Canada’s major oil and gas pipelines.

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Canada Investigates Cyber Attack

The Canadian government said it is looking into a cyber-attack on the Canadian arm of a company that designs software for the energy industry and helps other firms protect themselves against cyber-attack.

A spokesman for the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre said they are aware that Telvent, which is owned by French firm Schneider Electric SA, had been hacked into.

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Canada Cyber Espionage: Defence Contractors, Human Rights Groups Attacked

MONTREAL – Small Canadian defence contractors and human rights groups have been targets of cyber espionage, part of a global trend in which attackers try to steal the “crown jewels” of information, says software security company Symantec Corp.

Sensitive emails, intellectual property, research and development, contracts and documents and merger and acquisition information are all targets, Symantec’s Eric Chien said in an interview.

“We would definitely characterize it as cyber espionage, going into companies via the Internet and onto their computers and basically spying for information,” said Chien, technical director, security and response for Symantec.

“What we’re talking about, really, are the crown jewels of any organization.”

No companies were named in the report on cyber espionage titled the “Elderwood Project,” released Friday by California-based Symantec. The name comes from a piece of source code, or programming language, used by the attackers.

Canada had 35 organizations with 82 computers hit by cyber espionage since August 2011, the second most attacks out of 10 countries including Australia, India, United States plus Hong Kong, Symantec said.

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Nearly half of Canadians report hacker attacks

OTTAWA — Whether it’s by viruses, worms or phishing emails and texts, nearly half of all Canadians have been targeted by hackers at some point over the past year, according to a new report from an anti-virus software company.

The 2012 Norton Cyber-crime Report, released Wednesday, says more than 46 per cent of Canadians have re-ported attempts by hackers to try to obtain personal data over the past 12 months.

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Canada Says ‘Anonymous’ May Attack Energy Firm Computers

CANADA — Canadian security agencies have warned energy companies such as Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO) their computers may be attacked by the Anonymous hacker group because of the industry’s work developing Alberta’s oil sands, government documents show.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, public safety department and Communications Security Establishment Canada all investigated threats against the industry between the start of 2011 and mid-March, according to documents obtained this month by Bloomberg News under freedom of information laws. The RCMP conducted a threat assessment after the hacker group that calls itself Anonymous issued a press release in July 2011 accusing oil-sands companies of being greedy and harming the environment.

“The Canadian law enforcement and security intelligence community have noted a growing radicalized environmentalist faction who is opposed to Canada’s energy sector,” the RCMP’s assessment said. “Corporate security officers should verify that security testing has been performed on public facing web servers and mail servers.”

The hackers are attracted to high-profile projects such as TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship Alberta crude to the U.S., said Thomas Dean, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Queen’s University.

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Federal government, telecom firm, mum about cyber security failure

OTTAWA — Federal bureaucybercrats in charge of cyber security were puzzled about why a private company involved in protecting the federal government’s IT systems didn’t catch an Internet attack against the Canada Revenue Agency earlier this year, according to government e-mails.

The e-mails from Shared Services Canada, released to Postmedia News under access to information laws, show that senior department officials wanted answers from telecommunications company Allstream about why a targeted cyber attack against the CRA slipped past security systems, but the e-mails don’t say what answers Allstream provided.

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Canadian banks beefing up insurance against hacker attacks

 

Canadian banks have long been reluctant to talk about losses from cyber attacks.

Rick Waugh, chief executive of the Bank of Nova Scotia, said in an interview earlier this year that’s partly because disclosing details of a successful network break-in would be like giving a road map to the bad guys.

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