The Canada Communications Security Establishment (CSE) published a report that reveals that cyber criminals and hacktivists had leaked sensitive government documents, and attempted to hack into 2015 country’s Election.
The hackers targeted candidates and spread disinformation and propaganda in order to influence the vote. According to the CSE, the “low sophistication” attacks “did not impact the outcome of the election.”
The CSE warns of possible interference in the forthcoming 2019 election, especially of hacktivist groups.
According to the CSE, 13 percent of countries holding national elections in 2017 are targets of cyber attacks even more sophisticated.
“We judge that, almost certainly, multiple hacktivist groups will deploy cyber capabilities in an attempt to influence the democratic process in 2019,” states the CSE report. The Canadian intelligence believes that hackers will increasingly adopt “more sophisticated” techniques threatening 2019 elections and politicians.
Clearly, Canadian Intelligence fears possible interference like the one observed in the US and French President campaigns. The Canadian intelligence avoided referring Russia or other states as potential opponents.
The Canadian intelligence believes that hackers will increasingly adopt “more sophisticated” techniques threatening 2019 elections and politicians.
The CSE report confirmed that the Anonymous collective leaked secret documents in 2015 on Canadian diplomatic missions and the size of Canadadia spy network overseas in order to damage the candidate Tories during the election campaign.
CSE report also warns of Nation-state actors that could launch for the first time their offensive against Canada’s democracy.
State-sponsored hackers may target politicians and parties involved in the 2019 election depending on “how Canada’s nation-state adversaries perceive Canada’s foreign and domestic policies, and on the spectrum of policies espoused by Canadian federal candidates in 2019.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed that threats to elections have been “energetically discussed” at meetings of NATO and the G7 group. Canada and its allies will no accept any attack against their voting machine.
“We are a member of the G7, we are a NATO country, we are an influential voice and a leader on the world stage and so therefore there is a significant interest in influencing the direction of Canadian elections,” Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould told AFP.
“Regardless of who is behind these cyberthreats, it’s important that we can protect ourselves”.
The CSE analyzed dozens of cyber attacks against more than 40 states in the last decade and discovered that in almost 80 percent of the cases, the attacks have been powered by state actors.
The situation in Canada is worrisome, according to the CSE report, political parties, politicians and the media in Canada are under attack due to lack of proper security posture.
The Canadian election system itself still relies on paper ballots, provincial and municipal elections could suffer cyber attacks.
“In particular, we know that certain nation-states have core interests that can be affected by Canadian policies related to natural resources, which are often made at the provincial/territorial level,” said the report. “Hacktivists may begin to view subnational elections… as worthy targets.”
(Security Affairs – CSE, hacktivism)