China denies role in reported government of Canada hack
IDG News Service - The Chinese government is denying any involvement in a reported cyberattack on the Canadian government, which was ultimately traced to a Chinese server.
The Chinese government is firmly opposed to hacking and other criminal acts, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said at a press conference Thursday. China is also a victim of computer hacking, he said. "The allegation that China supports hacking is groundless," he said.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported Wednesday that authorities were forced to shut down Internet access to thousands of workers in the Canadian government's Finance Department and Treasury Board, after attackers
"posing as the federal executives, sent e-mails to departmental technical staffers, conning them into providing key passwords unlocking access to government networks," the CBC said.
The purpose of the attack was apparently to steal documents that contained classified government information.
Victims were also tricked into opening maliciously encoded documents, using a well-known technique called spear-phishing. With spear-phishing, the attacker does some research ahead of time and then picks a small number of victims, sending them a believable looking document -- a memo about an upcoming event, sent from a company executive, for example -- in the hopes that the victim will open this malicious attachment and their computer would be hacked.
The hacked computer is then used as a jumping-off point for computer-based espionage, as the hackers prowl through the victim's network in search of data.
This technique has been used successfully against U.S. government agencies and contractors for years now, according to security experts. Many believe these spear-phishing attacks to be part of a concerted espionage effort by the Chinese government, but this is nearly impossible to prove. China is often used as a path for all types of cyberattacks and it is possible that the attacker in this latest incident simply routed traffic through Chinese servers.
The Canadian government learned it had been compromised in January, the CBC reported. The office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper could not immediately be reached for comment.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses
- IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center
- IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results
- Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data
- HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data... All Government IT White Papers
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- All Government IT Webcasts