Canada's CIO has pointed the finger at China over a security breach at the nation's National Research Council.
Ongoing attempts to breach the research agency's computers led the NRC to hit the “off” switch on Monday of this week, according to Canada's CTV News. Those attacks had continued for a month.
CTV notes that the Canadian governments shared services policy means the NRC's data is stored on a system that hosts a total of 43 government departments.
The government's CIO has now levelled a direct accusation at China, saying its Communications Security Establishment “detected and confirmed a cyber intrusion on the IT infrastructure of the National Research Council of Canada by a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor”.
As part of the response, “the National Research Council's networks have been isolated from the broader Government of Canada network as a precautionary measure. We have no evidence that data compromises have occurred on the broader Government of Canada network”, the statement says.
The NRC expects the intrusion to have a year-long impact on it: “NRC is continuing to work closely with its IT experts and security partners to create a new secure IT infrastructure. This could take approximately one year however; every step is being taken to minimise disruption”, its statement says.
According to Reuters, the matter has already been raised at a ministerial level, quoting a Canadian official as saying “foreign minister John Baird had 'a full and frank exchange of views' about the case with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday”.
China has reacted angrily to the accusation, telling Bloomberg the allegations are groundless. ®