by Howard Solomon
Canada’s electronic spy agency has warned the country’s political parties, candidates and news media that it is “highly probable” the increasing cyber threat activity against democratic processes around the world will be seen here.
In a report issued in mid-June, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), which looks after protecting federal networks, said specifically it expects “that multiple hacktivist groups” will very likely deploy cyber capabilities in an attempt to influence the democratic process — including disrupting political parties, candidates and the media — during the 2019 Canadian federal election. “We anticipate that much of this activity will be low-sophistication, though we expect that some influence activities will be well-planned and target more than one aspect of the democratic process.”
For example, it notes that in 2015 the hactivist group Anonymous leaked reports about the redevelopment of Canada’s key diplomatic centres in Britain.
The warning applies not just to federal political parties and candidates, but to local candidates as well.
Affected groups are urged to consider CSE’s Top 10 IT security actions, advice on cyber hygiene and advice on mobile security.
Daniel Tobok, CEO of Cytelligence, a Toronto-based cyber breach investigation firm, said “it’s refreshing to see them ringing the alarm and waking up people … People should not have a false sense of security.”