Chinese Hackers Attack Canada

Key government departments penetrated
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2011 4:53 AM CST
Analysts say the Canadian government has left itself open to attack by underinvesting in cybersecurity.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Tom Hanson)

(Newser) – Hackers traced to China launched a major cyber attack on two key Canadian government ministries last month, officials have revealed. Bureaucrats in the country's Treasury Board and Department of Finance have been left with little to no Internet access since the beginning of the year because of compromised computers, reports the New York Times. The hackers targeted financial information, but authorities believe the attack was thwarted before sensitive information like the nation's budget could be stolen.

The hackers gained access to government networks by hijacking the computers of senior bureaucrats and sending out infected files. They also cracked into the records of Canada's House of Commons, targeting the records of lawmakers with large Chinese populations in their constituencies, CTV reports. Beijing officials deny there was any link to China's government. "What you mentioned is purely fictitious and has an ulterior motive," a foreign ministry spokesman told a press briefing.

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