Cyber incident forces Canada’s FINTRAC to shut some systems down

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Canada’s critical infrastructure vulnerable to cyberattacks: report
WATCH - Canada's critical infrastructure vulnerable to cyberattacks: report – Aug 28, 2023

Canada’s financial intelligence unit has shut some of its systems down as it manages what it calls a “cyber incident.”

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC, says the incident does not involve the centre’s intelligence or classified systems.

FINTRAC’s mandate is to facilitate the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities, while ensuring the protection of personal information under its control.

“As a precautionary measure, FINTRAC has taken its corporate systems offline in order to ensure their integrity and to protect the information that the Centre maintains,” it said in a Sunday statement.

“FINTRAC is working closely with its federal partners, including the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, to protect and restore its systems.”

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‘Don’t think it’s not going to happen to you’: How to protect yourself from cyberattacks


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The cyber event is the latest is a string of recent cyber incidents involving federal bodies.

Last month, the RCMP launched a criminal investigation into a “cyber event” targeting its network.

RCMP Commissioner Michael Duheme said on Feb. 27 there was no evidence to date that data was extracted from the national police force’s systems.

The RCMP said it was working with Shared Services Canada and the Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s cyberspy agency, to assess the scope of the breach.

Click to play video: 'Global Affairs Canada systems compromised in data breach'
Global Affairs Canada systems compromised in data breach

In January, Global Affairs Canada’s systems were compromised in a data breach. GAC has said there were early indications of “unauthorized access to personal information of users including employees.”

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In that case, a virtual private network managed by Shared Services Canada had been compromised and was used to access GAC network traffic.

It hasn’t been the first time GAC’s network has been compromised.

Global News reported in January 2022 that some parts of its network had to be shut down for days after what security and government sources described as a “cyber attack.”

At the time, the Canadian government was vocally supporting Ukraine’s administration as Russia massed troops on that country’s border for its eventual invasion.

A national security source, speaking on the condition they not be named, said at the time it was believed Moscow-backed hackers were involved in the attack.

— with files from Uday Rana 

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