#CyberFLASH: IT security overhaul at National Research Council to cost $32.5M

118521-stock-pix-for-files-national-research-council-nrcFortifying the National Research Council’s computer systems in the wake of a high-profile cyber attack last year will cost the federal government $32.5 million.

That money, given to the government’s super-IT department, will cover costs for a complete overhaul of one of the most complex and sensitive IT infrastructures in the country. Spending documents tabled in Parliament Thursday show the overhaul includes new computers, security measures, and a new home for the council’s IT infrastructure.

Hackers infiltrated systems of the NRC, one of the most important research organizations in the Canadian government, in 2014.

The government took the unusual step of openly blaming the attack on China, a charge Chinese officials vehemently denied while demanding proof to back up the accusation.

The NRC shut down its computer systems in late July 2014 in the wake of the cyber-attack, and announced that rebuilding its digital apparatus would take one year. That work is being overseen not only by the research council, but by Shared Services Canada and the Communications Security Establishment, the government’s cyber-spy agency.

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