Canada's government websites and email servers have been knocked offline in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
The assault was apparently a simple flood-the-pipes operation rather than an attempted data-heist. At 5pm local time, according to Bloomberg (presumably in Ottawa), sysadmins were working to get services back online “as soon as possible.”
Confirmed today that Govt of Canada GC servers have been cyberattacked. Until full service is restored please use 1-800-OCanada.— Tony Clement (@TonyclementCPC) June 17, 2015
However, Treasury Board President Tony Clement's most recent tweet on the topic, confirming the attack, asked citizens to use a 1-800 phone service if they need to contact the government.
If the claims made in this YouTube video, attributed to Anonymous' OpCyberPrivacy, are accurate, the attack was in protest at Canada's Bill C-51.
This is a sweeping set of national security measures that covers no-fly lists, bans “promotion of terrorism,” expands the powers of the country's spy agency CSIS, gives police the power to preventatively detain citizens, and lets a number of federal agencies share information.
Globalnews.ca says affected sites include “Canada.ca and the sites for Foreign Affairs, Transport Canada, Citizenship and Immigration and Justice Canada,” as well as “dozens” of departmental sites and some BlackBerrys.
At the time of writing, some sites seem to be responding again. ®