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Cyber ​​attacks |  A Russian-speaking group claims responsibility for other attacks on government websites

Cyber ​​attacks | A Russian-speaking group claims responsibility for other attacks on government websites

After boasting of crippling several government websites in Quebec on Wednesday, Russian-speaking hacker group NoName057 claimed responsibility for several attacks on government websites elsewhere in Canada on Thursday. Two jurisdictions also confirmed being subject to cyberattacks.

The group claimed on its Telegram account, with supporting screenshots, that it had attacked the pages of the governments of Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon and British Columbia.

“NoName057” also claimed responsibility for the attacks on the pages of Transport Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Through a press release, both Yukon and Prince Edward Island confirmed that they had been subjected to cyber attacks.

“At midnight on September 14, the website was the target of a cyberattack that made the website and other government pages in Yukon inaccessible,” the territory confirmed in a statement.

According to these two governments, “distributed denial of service” attacks were used to target their pages. This technique consists of overloading the site by doubling connection requests to prevent real users from accessing it.

“They take a bunch of infected computers, what we call a botnet, and they send, at their command, millions of requests to locations, very specific destinations,” cybersecurity specialist Steve Waterhouse explained in an interview with The Canadian Press on Wednesday.

Despite the group’s assertions on social media, the Canadian Press was able to browse without problems on Thursday evening on most of the sites mentioned in the “NoName057” messages.

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However, slowdowns were observed at government sites in Prince Edward Island and Yukon, while government sites in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories appeared to be inaccessible.

Prince Edward Island and Yukon said in separate statements that the attacks did not compromise their data, but delays may occur when processing transactions at some of their service locations.

For its part, Manitoba explained that the outages that affected its services were due to network and server problems, so that there was no indication of a cyber attack.

Authorities in Prince Edward Island, Yukon and Manitoba confirmed that teams are already working to solve the problem. There was no immediate comment from the Nunavut government.

Retaliatory operations in support of Ukraine

On Wednesday, government websites in Quebec were also the target of DDoS attacks. According to Mr. Waterhouse, these attacks, which targeted about ten government websites, were carried out by the organization “NoName057.”

The cybersecurity expert explained that the goal was “to attack the websites of countries that support Ukraine.”

They’ve done campaigns like this all over the world. Two days ago it was in Germany and today they are back in Canada for the ninth time.

Steve Waterhouse, cybersecurity specialist

The group has been involved in a series of cyberattacks against the United States and its allies in the past. He also claimed responsibility for an attack on Hydro-Québec’s website and mobile app in April.

The Ministry of Cybersecurity and Digital Affairs confirmed on Thursday morning that the situation had returned to normal for government websites that were affected on Wednesday.

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“No data was compromised due to this attack. Government infrastructure remains under increased surveillance by the Government Cyber ​​Defense Center,” the ministry confirmed on X (formerly Twitter).

Earlier this week, weather service Météomédia and its English-language arm, The Weather Network, also ran into trouble due to a “cybersecurity incident.”