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Government of Canada releases statement on malicious cyber activity

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement:

“The Government of Canada takes any attempts to undermine our national security seriously. We continue to take action to protect the Canadian public from malicious cyber activity and foreign interference.

This statement is being issued to raise awareness of the threat to Canada and the Canadian public posed by malicious cyber activity by foreign states and their affiliates.

Over the past year, Canada has attributed malicious cyber activity by calling out certain states, and supported our allies in condemning these activities. We do this because Canada works with allies and partners to promote a stable cyberspace that is built on respect for international law and the UN norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.

Certain foreign states – including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), RussiaIran, and North Korea – are conducting wide-ranging and long-term campaigns to compromise government and private sector computer systems. These states obtain information that can be used to interfere with our political systems and our critical infrastructure, and can be used to threaten or harm people in Canada.

Foreign interference, enabled by sophisticated cyber tools, poses one of the most serious threats to Canada’s national security, economic prosperity and sovereignty, as well as our way of life. State-sponsored actors have demonstrated their desire to target all aspects of our society, including each level of government, the private sector, and even individuals.

The most extensive state-sponsored cyber threat activity against Canada stems from the PRC. The Government of Canada urges the Canadian cyber security community, particularly critical infrastructure network defenders, to bolster their awareness of, and protection against, the PRC’s sophisticated cyber threat activity. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, a part of the Communications Security Establishment, has published additional information on this threat as well as guidance for network operators to protect their systems: https://www.cyber.gc.ca/en/guidance/cyber-threat-bulletin-cyber-centre-urges-canadians-be-aware-and-protect-against-prc-cyber-threat-activity.

The Canadian public needs to be vigilant as these activities can affect personal information, finances, as well as our public institutions, such as the health, water and education sectors. Furthermore, many of these campaigns seek to directly undermine Canada’s democracy. 

Canada will continue to call out malicious activities by foreign states and work closely with allies and partners on cyber security. Cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and democratic institutions will not be tolerated.

Should you be the target of malicious cyber activity, you are encouraged to report via the My Cyber Portal or by e-mail at contact@cyber.gc.ca.

Any individual in Canada who is concerned they are the target of foreign interference should contact the RCMP’s National Security Information Network at 1-800-420-5805, or by e-mail at rcmp.nsin-risn.grc@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Information related to foreign interference may also be reported to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service by submitting the online web form.

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