(Ottawa) A breach in computer security was detected at Global Affairs Canada last Wednesday. The next day, the Canadian Center for Cyber Security published a warning about potential attacks from Russia. This did not prevent Justin Trudeau from launching on Monday that his government unconditionally supported Ukraine.
Posted at 4:42 p.m.
Updated at 5:02 p.m.
The Treasury Board Secretariat said in a statement on Monday that a “cyber incident” occurred on January 19 at Global Affairs Canada, and that “at this time, there is no indication that other departments have been affected. by this incident.
The department added that “essential services provided to Canadians by Global Affairs Canada are operating” at this time, that some internet access “is not currently available as part of the mitigation measures” and that “work is in progress. courses to restore them”.
An investigation has been launched to shed light on potential threats, and on “active measures to deal with and neutralize them when they occur”. As the investigation is ongoing, the ministry declined to provide further comment “for operational reasons.”
The day after this incident, the Canadian Center for Cyber Security, a division of the Communications Security Establishment, issued a warning to Canada’s critical infrastructure operators.
The organization said it was aware that “foreign cyber-threat activities, including by Russian-sponsored perpetrators, are targeting operators of [infrastructures essentielles] of Canada and their operational and information technology”.
The Center urged such actors to “be aware of and protect against Russian state-sponsored cyber threat activities,” in a notice reflecting similar concerns in the US as well as the UK.
The breach observed at Global Affairs the day before had been passed over in silence.
Its existence was first reported by the English-language television network Global News, Monday.
Ottawa resolutely behind Kyiv
Earlier in the day, Justin Trudeau reaffirmed Canada’s full support for Ukraine.
If he did not go so far as to promise to send arms to the Ukrainian forces, he nevertheless maintained that the loan of 120 million granted last Friday to Ukraine was only a first step, and that the dispute between Moscow in Kiev would be the subject of serious discussions in the cabinet’s virtual retirement.
“We will continue to be there to support Ukraine. This is of great importance to us. And I can tell you that we will be reviewing the situation in Ukraine as part of our cabinet discussions over the next three days,” he said on the sidelines of an announcement about child care in Nunavut.
The Prime Minister did not specify whether, like the United States, Canada was preparing to repatriate the families of diplomats who are on Ukrainian soil. “Many contingency plans are in place. The safety of Canadian diplomats and their families is, of course, paramount,” he said.