Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) building in Surrey, B.C.
Image: waferboard via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

‘Alarming’ cyberattack hits Canada’s federal police, criminal investigation launched

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is investigating an “alarming” cyberattack that targeted its networks on Friday, the federal agency announced.

In a statement reported by public broadcaster CBC, the RCMP said there was no impact on its operations nor any “known threat to the safety and security of Canadians,” as a result of the incident.

The RCMP’s statement said: “While a breach of this magnitude is alarming, the quick work and mitigation strategies put in place demonstrate the significant steps the RCMP has taken to detect and prevent these types of threats.”

The nature of the attack has not yet been disclosed. It is not clear if the breach refers to a security incident or to a data protection breach, which would require the attackers to have successfully compromised the RCMP’s network.

The RCMP — which retains its iconic name, although its officers are no longer routinely mounted on horseback — is comparable to the FBI in the United States, and holds both domestic and foreign intelligence information.

The agency’s statement said the cyberattack had no known impact on its intelligence services.

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.

It follows 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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Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin

is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.