Malicious activity on the rise in computer networks across the country

Malicious activity and attempts to intrude on state-run computer networks have been increasingly intense for several days in Quebec and Canada, say recognized specialists in the field of cybersecurity contacted by Le Droit .
The same trend has been observed in European countries affected by COVID-19 in recent weeks. Malicious third parties are trying to attack government computer networks in the hope of destabilizing the country. “It started here too, says Antoine Normand, president of In-Sec-M, a cluster of companies specializing in cybersecurity. I see a lot of warnings about different threats, it’s pretty impressive. Several opinions from Canadian intelligence services identify lists of domains to be banned because they have been used in computer attacks elsewhere in the world. We are really in a situation where malicious actors, whether private or state, are trying to destabilize countries. ”

The Ministère du Conseil exécutif and the Secretariat of the Conseil du Trésor du Québec say that the Government Cyber ​​Defense Center is “on alert”. Obviously, the government refuses to specify the threats for questions of national security, but the spokesperson of the ministry, Jean Auclair, affirms that “if a potential threat is discovered, the Network of governmental alert will be called upon by the through the Quebec government’s information security incident response team to coordinate actions well ”.

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Patrick Mathieu, co-founder of Hackefest and involved in cybersecurity for more than 20 years, says that it is difficult for the moment to say that they are the targets of computer attacks in the country. “A lot of information from Europe and the United States shows that the computer networks of hospitals, governments and email servers in general are targeted,” he says. The attribution of the attacks is always difficult to specify, but it is obvious that everyone looks on the side of Russia and China. It’s obvious that a lot of online disinformation comes from Russia, but it’s less obvious for the attacks. ”

“It started here too. I see a lot of warnings about different threats, it’s pretty impressive. ”
– Antoine Normand


It has recently been shown that the computer networks of Quebec municipalities are vulnerable to attack. The transfer of municipal activities into telework could represent an “entry vector” for these malicious third parties. “We have never had so many people at home who use poorly secured wifi to connect to public and state computer networks,” notes Mr. Normand.

This poses a risk, says Mathieu. “Half of the people are setting up their wireless network the wrong way,” he says. Passwords are often very weak. Computers are accessible to children and spouses. You can easily find yourself in an awkward situation. ”

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