Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Russian hackers entered key territory after reports of leaked US intelligence causing “no material damage” to Canada’s energy infrastructure.
Over the weekend, US officials briefed allies and partners, including Canada, about the potential impact of the leak. pentagon Documents detailing US and NATO operations in Ukraine. US officials are currently investigating the source of the leak.
The documents posted online are labeled secret and appear to contain details on shipments of weapons and equipment to Ukraine, but they also contain glaring inaccuracies that call into question their authenticity, or whether they were altered, the report suggests. Are.
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The leaked documents describe claims, which Global News has not yet independently verified, by Russian-backed hackers that they successfully accessed Canada’s natural gas infrastructure.
Trudeau told reporters in Toronto on Tuesday, “With regard to reports of cyberattacks against Canadian energy infrastructure, I can confirm that there has been no physical damage to any of Canada’s energy infrastructure following the cyberattacks. “
A New York Times report on Monday portrayed the hacking incident as an example of how Russia can be expected to retaliate beyond Ukraine’s borders if the war continues.
The report did not name any specific energy company, but said the hackers were instructed by a Russian intelligence officer to maintain access to the computer network and “await further instructions”.
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The Times reported that the hackers were able to demonstrate that they had the ability to increase valve pressure, deactivate the alarm and initiate an emergency shutdown at an undisclosed gas distribution station.
The Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s cyber espionage agency, said Monday it does not comment on “confirm or deny alleged leaked intelligence” because of the risk of revealing tactics, techniques and procedures.
But it said it was concerned about “opportunities for significant infrastructure disruption” over Internet-connected technology in industrial processes.
“State-sponsored cyber threat actors may also target critical infrastructure to collect information through espionage; prior position in case of future hostilities; or in the form of power projection and intimidation,” spokesman Ryan Foreman said in a statement.
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“We are deeply concerned about this threat and urge owners and operators of critical infrastructure to reach out to us to work together to protect their systems.”
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Stephanie Corwin, associate professor of international relations at Carleton University, said the apparent leak puts Canada at risk because Americans have now lost access to cyber groups targeting the country.
“It means we are potentially less safe,” she said.
“We are heavily dependent on the US for our intelligence collection, this would mean that if the US was effectively cut off we would not be able to access that reporting.”
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday that the Biden administration is in contact with affected aides and partners about the leak at a “very high level.” He cannot say whether it has been completely absorbed.
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A spokesman for Canada’s Ministry of Public Security said the department would also not comment on leaked intelligence or its content, but added that Canada would continue to work with the rest of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which includes the US. Is.
With files from The Canadian Press
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