Canada’s National Research Council investigating the detection of ‘cyber incident’

The largest federal research and development organization in Canada, National Research Council (NRC), detected a “cyber incident” on March 18, two months after Global Affairs Canada experienced a similar disturbance.

Mitigation actions reportedly were immediately taken and an investigation is underway.

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS) issued a bulletin warning to operators of critical infrastructure in Canada to be aware and take steps to mitigate Russian state-sponsored cyber threat activity adding that on Jan. 19, the same day the Global Affairs Canada breach was detected.

Christine Aquino, director-general of communications, NRC reportedly stated the research body is working with Shared Services Canada, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and the CCCS in response to the issue.

A memo on the NRC website notes several applications have been taken offline and may be unavailable.

Recommendations listed by the CCCS for network defenders include enhancing organizational vigilance and developing a cyber incident response plan.

Alerts have also been issued by the U.S. and the U.K. advising organizations to be watchful of Russian cyberattacks and encouraging enhanced monitoring and mitigation maneuver by their respective cybersecurity communities.

In July 2014 the NRC was targeted in this manner by Chinese hackers, the government at the time confirmed prompting a complete shutdown of the council’s computer network.

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