CTV News reported on Monday that the Canadian federal government’s National Research Council (NRC) was forced to shut down its computers to stop cyberattacks from China.
Sources told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that Chinese hackers had been trying to get into NRC computers for the past month. The government bureau then decided that a complete shutdown was necessary late Monday to stop the hackers from stealing sensitive information.
The cyberattack was primarily focused on the NRC, but sources say it has wider implications because the government has converted 43 departments into a shared data service system.
According to the CTV News report, it is not the first time hackers from China have penetrated Canadian government computers. They have previously targeted the Finance Department, the Treasury Board, the Bank of Canada and even Parliament Hill. The National Research Council is Canada’s top science and technology research organization. It handles leading-edge research related to satellite technology, space and industrial innovations and modified foods, among others.
The U.S. government has also blamed Chinese hackers on a number of data breaches and computer intrusions.
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Chinese hackers breached the computers of a government agency that holds federal employees’ personal information.