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Canadian Gov't Victim of Cyberattacks 187

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-hate-when-that-happens dept.
courteaudotbiz writes "Canada and all members of the U5 (United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France and New-Zealand) state that they all suffered government-directed attacks between June and September 2007. These seemed to be Chinese government sponsored attacks." It's a Google translation, so it's a bit hard to read, but it seems to be a recurring story these last few months.
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Canadian Gov't Victim of Cyberattacks

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  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PawNtheSandman (1238854) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:51AM (#23710489)
    I'm sure we are returning the favor and have been for decades.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cytg.net (912690)
      more importantly, whos really to gain something from putting the chinese in the cyberspot these days.
      Someone needs funding for something im sure..
    • (Posted in reply so it appears at the top of the thread).

      Cyberattack in Ottawa

      The Canadian government has been the target of a massive cyberattack in June and July 2007. In total, about twenty ministries have been hit, as documents obtained by La Presse thanks to the information access act.

      Even though canadian authorities refuse to identify the authors of this attack, they hint at chinese cyber pirates. From june to september 2007, at about the same time, five countries -- the USA, Germany, the UK, Franc

    • I'm sure we are returning the favor and have been for decades.

      Returning the favor, but how? By shipping all of our jobs over there? By sending cash over by the boatload as we buy anything and everything they produce? We are handing China the keys to our kingdom, that is the best way (for them) for us to repay them.

      Oh, don't forget the stimulus check everyone gets this year. Where do you think our government borrowed the money for that? Probably our number one creditor, China. That is okay though, China

  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Coraon (1080675) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:56AM (#23710567)
    When is the US going to "Cyber invade" China? I'm not sure how exactly they would do it but I'm guessing it would involve telling people that they export viruses of mass destruction, letting people know it'll take a day or 2 to get the Chinese servers in line, and the backbones there will welcome them with open arms. The US will then be there for a month or 2 before they get someone in the government to call it off leaving the Chinese networks in the hands of a few ISP "Warlords" for a few years...
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by zappepcs (820751) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:36AM (#23711251) Journal

      When is the US going to "Cyber invade" China? ...
      Put on the tin foil hat. To properly cyber-invade the country, the U5 will need some advance search teams on the ground there. Some folks to ensure that targeted data attacks hit the right spots. These advanced search and spotter groups will be sent in the form of Olympic "trainers", cooks, security, and flunkies. Once the Olympics is done, then we'll see some interesting fiber cable cuts and one or two odd DNS issues, then the spynetwork installation will be complete, and the only person that will know more about China than the US government will be Mr Chan who sells noodles on a side street in Beijing.

      Tinfoil hat off: They are already spying on them with satellites and anything that you might think of plus a few other things that are so outrageously expensive and impractical that you would not imagine that they are using them.

      The cold war is not over, it simply moved to the Intarwebtubes.

  • U5? (Score:3, Funny)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:57AM (#23710611)
    What are the U5 nations? The article didn't say, and Google wasn't much help. I'm not used to seeing NZ in the short-list for anything, especially not with USA, France and Germany.

    Anyone know what that group is?
    • I honestly don't know either, i'd be willing to bet its just some bullshit kinda like the title of the summary.

      The only thing I can think of thats close, is the permanent members of the United Nations, which is 5 countries, some of which are similar, but... not the same list.

      China, France, Russia, UK, US.

      Maybe there is some sort of internet related U-list, meaning that those 5 governments do more business online or something.
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)
        That's permanent members of the UN security council, not "the UN," which would normally be interpreted to mean the general assembly.
        • by rah1420 (234198)
          Replying to this to kill my 'informative' moderation, because this isn't right. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. [un.org]
          • by ceoyoyo (59147)
            My reading comprehension isn't always the best, but I think that's what I said, right?

            Original poster said China, France, Russia, UK, US are the permanent members of the UN. I replied that those are the permanent members of the UN security council not the UN itself. You replied that the permanent members of the UN security council are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.

            China, check. France, check. US->United States, check. UK->United Kingdom, check. Are y
    • sound like they have a "u" or "yoo" in them somewhere...

      Yoo-knighted-sutates...

      Can-u-dah...

      Furansu (if hailing from Korea or Japan...)...

      Yoo-knighted-king-dum

      Germ-u-knee...

      What is probably yoo-s-ful to consider is that Can-u-da probably hasn't really colun-ized any other sove-run nation... LOL!
    • Re:U5? (Score:5, Informative)

      by courteaudotbiz (1191083) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:35AM (#23711229) Homepage
      I submitted this story, and am a french Canadian. The google translation was not wrong, the article really stated "the U5 countries". I did some research after I posted, and found really NO INFORMATION about this "organization". Maybe it's just a term internally used by the Canadian secret services. I'm as confused as you all about the presence of N-Z on such a short list :-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Guppy06 (410832)
        "Maybe it's just a term internally used by the Canadian secret services."

        Or, maybe because it's being translated from a French document, it's a French abbreviation. After all, the abbreviation "EU" means completely different things to francophones and anglophones.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by awehttam (779031)
        It probably means the same as UKUSA [wikipedia.org].

        Apparently New Zealand has been responsible for Western Pacific regions, while Australia has been "Indochina, Indonesia and southern mainland China." although I'm sure it's not that clean-cut.

        • UKUSA was my first thought, but France and Germany aren't members (in France's case, quite famously - it was largely France - and New Zealand's ex-PM David Lange - who brought Echelon to the attention of the world-at-large), and Australia - the remaining UKUSA member is absent from the list.

          Maybe the Canadian intelligence services are as well funded as the New Zealand Air Force's fighter command?! (i.e. not very).

    • Aren't those the 5 most prominant English-speaking countries? Am I missing someone?

      Perhaps the Chinese government has something against the English language. Or perhaps this French writer thinks English speaking countries have some sort of conspiracy to suppress the French.
      • No, that's the *four* most prominent English-speaking countries, plus America.
      • by Guppy06 (410832)
        "Aren't those the 5 most prominant English-speaking countries?"

        I'm pretty sure India would bump New Zealand off that list.

        It's the list of countries dominated by English-speaking white Protestants. South Africa and Ireland need not apply.
    • Everyone of them has a 'u' in it's name. UK, Deutschland, Neu Seeland, Republik Frankreich, USA. Well, in some kind of language.

      Never heard of a group named U5. I would assume it's some kind of military cooperation. New Zealand is also a part of the Echelon-Program. Germany, UK and the US too. Maybe there is also a Echelon-station in France or they share the informations.
    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      "I'm not used to seeing NZ in the short-list for anything,"

      The Back-Seater's Gang, along with Canada and, um... Canada...

      There's gotta be more members!
    • From TFA (accents butchered by Slashdot):

      "U5 (Ãtats-Unis, Grande-Bretagne, Australie, Nouvelle-Zélande et Canada) "
      These governments have an agreement to share intelligence information.

      • by bsDaemon (87307)
        See, that grouping makes plenty of sense. France and Germany on the other hand, not so much.
    • Duh, that's the second generation upgrade for U3. *rimshot*

      But, seriously 5-eyes is a shortcut notation for classified information releasable to English speaking allies: US, UK, NZ, CAN, AUS. The US military has had to stretch itself in creating caveats for releasability of documents to our coalition allies. I would suspect that U5 is such a designator. Its meaning? I cynically suggest that, since the French are involved, the U5 implies that the data will be on wikileaks in under 5 days.
    • by treeves (963993)
      I first thought it was 1337-speak for US.
    • It's U2 several decades later. Haven't you noticed Bono's aged a bit?
  • So at what point does someone decide this is with hostile intent? Does this apply to corporation as well? Can DuPont invade Johnson's and Johnson's?
  • Make it legal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by canuck57 (662392) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:58AM (#23710623)

    Why not just make it legal for us to hack Chinese IP addresses? This could be fun!

    Then once we have their systems they will negotiate.

    • by Foofoobar (318279)
      And while we are at it, block all Chinese IP's from reaching outside their borders. The problems though may be 'fake' routers. It is believed the Chinese government manufactured fake Cisco routers and got them in several places to bypass locations should a blocking attempt be made in the future.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)

        block all Chinese IP's from reaching outside their borders
        The Chinese government already has that one covered.
        • by Foofoobar (318279)
          No they don't. They 'filter' content. Totally different thing. Blocking an IP going out of China and coming into your location vs blocking content coming from an IP going into China are two different things.
        • by Foofoobar (318279)
          Also, China blocks domains nas well in their firewall. We want to be doing the same for all IP's and domains coming from China. Thats not the same thing, it's the reverse and China doesn't do it for all domains and IP's coming from any one country. We would want to do it for all IP's coming from V=China (couldn't do it for domains as that's too vague).
    • by fbjon (692006)

      Why not just make it legal for us to hack Chinese IP addresses? This could be fun!
      They will only silently proxy all attacks back to some IP in the originating country.


      "Damn, they have so much porn! And I've seen it all before!"

  • The U5 ?? (Score:4, Informative)

    by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirste ... minus physicist> on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:59AM (#23710643) Homepage
    I know I can't be the only one who has never heard of this group. It doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry.

    This is all I could dig up really - seems to be some cyber-security e-commerce related group?

    Whereas work in other areas of shared concern, such as international trade, is conducted in line with some "ground truths and principles," there is little by way of standards, laws, regulations, etc. to guide international cooperation between key partners on cyber security. Mr. Aisenberg argued that such cooperation could be especially fruitful between the so called "U5 Countries" - Canada, Great Britain, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. As countries with a shared history, common language, and similar institutions and values, the U5 countries could work together and "develop a doctrine that they can all believe in," before moving policy, regulation, and legislation in that shared direction. In fact, Mr. Aisenberg emphasized that the democratic, liberal, free-market commitments common across the U5 countries are a logical starting point for cooperation, as they can anchor cooperation in common objectives and principles.

  • by Eudial (590661)
    "U5 (United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France and New-Zealand)": Is this a typo/mistranslation? Because neither I, nor wikipedia knows what this is. G5 [wikipedia.org], however seems to describe the same thing.
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Monday June 09, 2008 @10:59AM (#23710647) Homepage

    It's a google translation, so it's a bit hard to read, but it seems to be a recurring story these last few months.
    They tried to Google-translate Canadian into English? You fools, It cannot be done!

    OK, OK I didn't RTFA. My way's better.
  • Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekmansworld (950281) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:00AM (#23710669) Homepage
    It is baffling to me how these sort of Cyber-wars can go on and in the meantime countries will continue talking to eachother like nothing's the matter.

    Understandably, one can draw parallels to the ongoing espionage among all countries during the 20th century. Still, this seems like the militarization of the internet, which is a civilian construct. That sets a troubling precedent.
    • by MeNeXT (200840)
      It's the politics of money. We need more to defend against the Russian, communists, Muslims, or what ever evil will get us more funds.

      The article should read "Stupid government department lax on security was broken into". There is no way to prove who broke in. Who's to say that the compromised system wasn't used to hack back into China. Who's to say it's not another Canadian political party using a hacked system in china to hide their tracks. Better yet, who's to say it's not propaganda in order to create f
    • The duty of the military, any military, it to be prepared to strike immediately and decisively. A more physical example is sending bombers towards a foreign airspace to gauge their response and determine how to adjust your attack profile. This was common practice during the cold war and Russia has started it up again. It's a little bit of "saber-rattling" mostly it's just reconnaissance and planning.
    • by phorm (591458)
      The problem is, who is really behind it. Yes, it could be the China government. It could be Chinese crime syndicates. It could be that - being they have a huge population (even though only a percentage is internet-connected) with known issues in regards to keeping boxen secure - there are a shitload of p0wn3d machines being abused. It could be that hackers like to work out of China because of lacking/difficult enforcement.
    • It is baffling to me how these sort of Cyber-wars can go on and in the meantime countries will continue talking to eachother like nothing's the matter.

      The short answer is that they've been too distracted by terrorism/fighting actual shooting wars to deal with what is in comparison a rather ephemeral question. That state of affairs is starting to change as the governments in question are starting to pull back from these engagements, and the Arab terrorism hysteria is starting to subside. More and more of t

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:00AM (#23710673) Journal
    Yeah, I've noticed google translator has a trouble translating from Canadian. Not that I read the article or anything.

    It's a google translation, so it's a bit hard to read, but it seems to be a recurring story these last few months.
  • If I read it write, U5 is shorthand for U.S., Germany, UK, Canada, and NZ. That's an odd assortment of countries. Where did that come from?

    I sounds like an Irish rock band.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      That came from the submitters mind.

      The actual article talks about the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ. The big anglophone countries, in other words.
  • by Kohath (38547) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:00AM (#23710689)
    I'm surprised Google can do it at all. Removing the "u" from words like "color" is easy enough. But the hostile subtext in the Canadian niceness and politeness is hard for machines to render into American.

    The further you get from the border, the harder it is to understand. Of course Canadians will deny it. But they'll do it politely.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jax9999 (919336)
      I find the best way to do this is to replace thank you with fuck you, and you're welcome with die die DIEEEEE!!!!1!!!

      It seems to be the closest translation.
    • by Intron (870560)
      I was driving in Vancouver last simmer with the usual courtesy that I use in Boston. A Canadian driver yelled at me the worst insult that he could: "Tourist!"
    • But the hostile subtext in the Canadian niceness and politeness is hard for machines to render into American.

      Quite. That is exactly the sort of comment I'd expect from our oh-so-interesting neighbours to the South.

      The further you get from the border, the harder it is to understand. Of course Canadians will deny it. But they'll do it politely.

      Furthermore, in case you are harbouring suspicions that I'm pulling your [non-Canadian] goose in some fashion, I cordially invite you to cosh yourself in the noggin with a tyre iron.* Thank you, neighbour, for your time.

      *I don't really suggest this, since I have no desire to face the possibility of gaol.

  • And how come NZ is a member, but Australia isn't?
  • by SGDarkKnight (253157) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:07AM (#23710799)
    The article tosses around the word "accused" a lot, but dosn't really point out if they have any hard evidense to back it up. Of course China is a likely suspect to "accuse" any high tech cyber-attacks of, but really, wouldn't you think any country that has a strong backbone to the internet would be capable of doing these attacks? Or am I just missing something completely?
  • by superflex (318432) on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:21AM (#23711015) Homepage
    Would it not be really easy to misattribute the sources of these attacks to Chinese-gov't sources when everybody in China connects to the Net through a gov't-controlled firewall?
    Can anyone who knows more about this than me comment?

    Oh, and regarding the "U5" debate, RTFA. From the article "We have had confirmation from our partners U5 (USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada)" This corresponds to the UKUSA member countries [wikipedia.org].

  • This should make the Olympics more entertaining. Or not.
  • ...that's pondered in the various governmental offices now, right?

    "How can we use that to justify more laws for domestic surveillance?"

    Or do you have any other reason at hand why we hear about this at all?
  • I hear we've got some all-encompassing system about to go online. Codenamed "Colossus," it will implement a new level of Internet control known as "Skynet."

  • In a followup, the Canadian government regrets to report that the increased traffic was not the result of an attack but rather a massive numbers of internet users from China hitting the website at once. Unfortunately a number of separate reports caused the site to represent something different than it's purpose. The weather report, a biopic on Jessica Alba, and a report about the beaches in southern France combined with the Google translation to be: Hot Nude Jessica Alba. That was nothing compared netwo
  • Network Robustness (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage AT praecantator DOT com> on Monday June 09, 2008 @11:47AM (#23711447) Homepage
    While the article is long on smoke and short on fire, it does raise an interesting question in my mind.

    To what extent has our critical network infrastructure retained the sort of "after-the-bomb" resilience of the original DARPAnet project? As I recall from a long ago text-book, our forbears with slide-rules and lab-coats worked out that if each node had separate links to three independent communication peers, that for most random removals of up to 90% of those nodes the remainder could still communicate. That is the design spec/philosophy that gave rise to the whole "built to survive a nuclear attack" meme.

    Fast forward half a century, and everyone knows that our overall network infrastructure has nowhere near that level of redundancy and robustness, owing reasonably to that fact that most of our deployed applications don't require it. If it's not needed, why pay to build it across the board.

    However, for those applications for which high-availability under outage/disaster/attack/DoS conditions is critical, have we been building appropriately? Or, as I fear, are we reliant on a small handful of satellites and long-haul backbones in support of everything else?

    Is there anyone more current than I in that realm who might care to weigh in?

  • What if the Chinese gov simply told a bunch of lonely Chinese teenagers that they'd get access to playboy.com if they ran some scripts for them on the weekends?

    anyhoot, here are the only "facts" from TFA:

    - over 20 branches of CA gov hit
    - "U5" is quoted from a note given to Stockwell Day
    - link to China is unconfirmed by US and Canada
    - in an unrelated case, Le Monde (France) traced attacks back to Chinese nodes

  • ASL (Score:2, Funny)

    by crushkill (750473)
    The Canadian government has been the victim of a massive cyber in June and July 2007.
  • New-Zealand? (Score:2, Informative)

    by QuantumFlux (228693)
    Last time I checked, that country name wasn't hyphenated...
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday June 09, 2008 @12:07PM (#23711783)
    Even TFA doesn't include France and Germany in this "U5" boy band thing or whatever it is.

    Welcome to Slashdot, where even the submitter doesn't need to RTFA.
  • Oh no, some other country might find out the recipe for Canadian Bacon is really just ham cold cuts in the shape of a circle! On the other hand, maybe we could settle this amicably with a recipe swap. Please share with us the recipe for American Cheese, and tell us how to make our Hershey bars not suck! Also, let's decide how much butter and milk is the correct amount to add to Macaroni and Cheese, is it one or two tablespoons? Which country is right?
  • The article doesn't mention whether there's some actual reason to believe Chinese sources are involved or whether it's just Chinese IP addresses.

    If China is attacking from their own IP addresses then they are incompetent.
  • Mom: You call that a pressed ham? Walt! Hit the retaliate button!
    Walt: (Searching for button) Uhm.. uh...
    Mom: Press any button! They all retaliate!
  • They are after the secret recipe to our maple donuts!

    Damn you China, damn you straight to hell!!!!!
  • Man, this guy [teambc.ca] will do anything to get himself in the news!
  • "These seemed to be Chinese government sponsored attacks"

    "Although Canadian authorities refused to identify the perpetrators of this attack, they leave doubts on Chinese hackers"

    what proof was provided or are we just supposed to take their word for it. Just who is the source for this cyber-bullshit .. !!
  • Ref Canada v China [blogspot.com]:

    Just as I posted my last story on New Zealand I noticed the following in Editorial: The spy business is alive and well:

    SIS head Warren Tucker said government computer systems had been hacked into by foreign states. Information had been stolen and hard-to-detect software installed that could be used to take control of computer systems, he said.

    Mr Tucker would not name the culprits. But he did refer to recent comments by Canada's security service about Chinese spying. Canada's spy-meister,

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