Hackers target Canada sites, ISI hand suspected


Several government agencies in Canada have said they have been under relentless cyberattacks from a hacker group they have been unable to identify.

In one such attack, the website of the Canadian Armed Forces was rendered “unavailable” for a few hours. Various pages on the House of Commons website have slowed down or remained inaccessible as part of a larger attack to target government websites. Elections Canada also experienced a similar situation.

Canadian officials said it was a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack.

Hackers calling themselves the ‘Indian Cyber Force’ claimed responsibility for the attacks on Telegram while making a reference to PM Justin Trudeau’s claim that there were “credible allegations” of a “potential link” of Indian agencies to the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, but there was no confirmation yet about its involvement. The Telegram channel operators shared a screenshot of an error page with the message “#f—canada”.

The hacker group’s logo includes an American bald eagle with orange and green wings. However, sources in the security establishment said there was no credible evidence to suggest an Indian hand. “Naming a group as ‘Indian Cyber Force’ is in itself a giveaway. It is more likely to be the handiwork of ISI which wants to profit from the standoff between India and Canada,” an intelligence officer said.

The hackers have posted many versions of a message riddled with spelling and grammatical errors — a sloppiness usually associated with Pakistan — onto websites of restaurants and medical clinics. The affected sites showed a message on a black background with green digits, similar to the movie ‘The Matrix’, as war music played. The message described Canada as a “heaven hub” for Khalistanis.

Hackers calling themselves the ‘Indian Cyber Force’ claimed responsibility, but there was no credible evidence to suggest an Indian hand

(With inputs from agencies)


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