Canada investigates cyber attack amid tensions with Russia

TORONTO (AP) — An attack on the computer systems of Canada’s Department of Global Affairs last week has left some diplomats without access to some Internet functions, the government’s Treasury Board said Tuesday.

The board noted that “access to a very limited number of internet services remains restricted as part of mitigation measures.” He did not say who was behind the January 19 cyberattack or give details about what happened.

The incident came a day before the Canadian Cyber ​​Security Center called on companies to beef up their protections against potential Russian-backed cyberattacks amid heightened tensions over a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The Government of Canada faces ongoing and persistent cyber risks and threats every day,” the board said. outsiders to gain access to information.

Moscow is at an impasse with NATO, of which Canada is a member, over an increased Russian military presence on the border with Ukraine, which reported on January 16 that the Russians appeared to be behind an attack on its websites, something Russia denied.

Earlier, Microsoft said that dozens of computer systems at an unspecified number of government agencies in Ukraine had been infected with destructive malware disguised as “ransomware,” a malicious computer program that locks the computer and demands a ransom payment to release data. data.

Families of Canadian diplomatic personnel in Ukraine have been instructed to return to Canada due to Russia’s increased military presence and “destabilizing activities in and around Ukraine.”

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