Canada Government Websites Taken Offline in Cyberattack

by Reuters /
Image: Cybersecurity
Hacking collective Anonymous has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that shut down several Canadian government websites. RALF HIRSCHBERGER / EPA

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OTTAWA -- Several Canadian government websites were taken down in a cyber attack on Wednesday, the government said, with the hacking group Anonymous taking responsibility in what it said was retaliation for a new anti-terrorism law passed by Canada's parliament.The general website for government services, canada.ca, as well as the site of Canada's spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, were among those affected. Tony Clement, the cabinet minister responsible for the Treasury Board, confirmed on his Twitter account that government websites had been cyberattacked.

The government said the attack also affected email, Internet access and information technology assets, but that it was working to restore the services.

In a video posted on YouTube, Anonymous said it was responsible for the attack. The video said the anti-terrorism law, recently passed by the Canadian Senate, violated human rights and targeted people who disagree with the government. Bill C-51, or the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, would broaden the mandate of CSIS, giving the agency new powers to disrupt perceived security threats. The legislation, once enacted by the government, would also make it easier for federal agencies to increase surveillance and share information about individuals.

Related: Password Manager LastPass Suffers Breach, But Says User Data Safe

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney denounced the cyberattacks, telling reporters that there were many other democratic ways for Canadians to express their views. He also said the government was implementing efforts to improve its cybersecurity.

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