HomeLatest UpdatesCyberattack forces Canada’s financial intelligence agency to take systems offline

Cyberattack forces Canada’s financial intelligence agency to take systems offline


Canada’s financial intelligence agency FINTRAC has announced pulling its corporate systems offline due to a cyber incident that struck over the weekend.

In a statement on its website, the agency said: “Over the last 24 hours, FINTRAC has and continues to manage a cyber incident. The incident does not involve the Centre’s intelligence or classified systems.”

The nature of the incident has not been disclosed. The agency said it was “working closely with its federal partners, including the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, to protect and restore its systems.”

FINTRAC, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, is the Ottawa-based government body founded to detect and investigate money laundering and similar crimes.

The agency is the national authority for suspicious transactions, including those relating to terrorist financing, and a partner to the country’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

“As a precautionary measure, FINTRAC has taken its corporate systems offline in order to ensure their integrity and to protect the information that the Centre maintains,” the agency added.

The nature of the incident has not been disclosed, and so it is not possible to infer whether the attack was financially motivated or perpetrated by attackers seeking access to FINTRAC intelligence — although the agency said it “does not involve the Centre’s intelligence or classified systems.”

It follows what was described as an “alarming” cyberattack targeting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) late last month, although again the nature of the attack was not disclosed.

Earlier this year, Canada’’s foreign ministry discovered “malicious cyber activity” on its network that allowed hackers access to personal information. It is not known whether this was a criminal or state-sponsored breach.

That came after a separate incident in which data on current and former members of the country’s armed forces and the RCMP was compromised after a contractor providing relocation services for government personnel was hacked.

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