Canada column for Sunday, Sept. 25/16
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
The threat of a major cyberattack on the electrical grid and telecommunications systems in Canada has government officials planning with critical infrastructure operators.
An internal document said “insiders” could unleash devastating viruses and cripple systems.
This has officials consulting with operators of electrical grids, transportation hubs and other key infrastructure facilities.
The briefing notes for Public Safety Canada, obtained by the Canadian Press newswire under the Access to Information Act, said the “insider threat is difficult to detect and can cause real damage.”
Rogue employees, state-sponsored hackers, sophisticated criminals, “cause-motivated hacktivists” and people out to make mischief online all pose a threat, the document warns.
No special hacking skills are required to wreak digital havoc, just a portable memory key loaded with a malicious code, it said.
The document was prepared for Monik Beauregard, a senior assistant deputy minister at Public Safety Canada, who chaired a panel on Friday at an intelligence conference on the global implications of the challenges to cybersecurity.