Canada identifies malicious cyber-activity by Russia


October 4, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement:

“Today, Canada joins its allies in identifying and exposing a series of malicious cyber-operations by the Russian military. These acts form part of a broader pattern of activities by the Russian government that lie well outside the bounds of appropriate behaviour, demonstrate a disregard for international law and undermine the rules-based international order.  Canada calls on all those who value this order to come together in its defence.

“Some of these acts have a connection with Canada.  In 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an independent international agency headquartered in Canada, publically disclosed that the cyber-hacker group Fancy Bear/APT28 had released confidential athlete data on its website that it had obtained illegally from WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System.  The Government of Canada assesses with high confidence that the Russian military’s intelligence arm, the GRU, was responsible for this incident.

“In 2016, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport was compromised by malware enabling unauthorized access to the Centre’s network. The Government of Canada assesses with high confidence that the GRU was responsible for this compromise.

“Earlier today, Canada’s allies disclosed that in April 2018, following the use of a Novichok agent in Salisbury, United Kingdom, the Russian military attempted to use its cyber-capabilities to gain access to official networks of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).   The Government of Canada assesses with high confidence that the GRU was responsible for this attempt. Canada is a member of the OPCW and currently sits on its Executive Council.  Canada supports the OPCW’s efforts to rid the world of these abhorrent weapons and global efforts to address the recent illegal use of chemical weapons in Syria and the United Kingdom.

“The incidents identified by Canada and our allies, including the GRU’s attempt to undermine the work of the OPCW, underscore the Russian government’s disregard for the rules-based international order, international law and established norms. The attempt to compromise the networks of the OPCW is consistent with Russia’s broader attacks on the independence and professionalism of the personnel of the OPCW.

“The Government of Canada is committed to defending its citizens and institutions from cyber-threats, domestically and internationally. With the adoption of a new Cyber Security Strategy and the establishment of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Canada is making significant investments in improving its cyber-resilience. Further, as was agreed at the G7 Summit, in Charlevoix, Quebec, the Government of Canada is working with allies and partners to hold malicious cyber-actors to account, denouncing their actions and imposing costs upon them.  Canada will continue to act to uphold international law in cyberspace.”

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