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Canada: Russian cybercriminals allegedly accessed the natural gas network

The information is among the classified U.S. intelligence documents that were recently leaked

Cyber industrial safety - April 28, 2023

Russian cybercriminals claim to have accessed the IT infrastructure of Canada’s natural gas network. The information has not been confirmed by an official source, but it appears in classified U.S. intelligence documents that were recently leaked on social media. This large-scale leak was revealed by the New York Times on April 6, 2023.

The report of the American authorities, included in the leaked documents, does not name the Canadian company involved. But it indicates that an agent of the Russian intelligence services asked the attackers to maintain access to the hacked network and “to wait for further instructions“.

In response to this information, cybersecurity experts told Radio Canada that they were not surprised that Russia had targeted Canadian energy infrastructure. However, they are reassuring that access to an industrial computer network does not mean that a significant disruption can be easily implemented.

There is a big difference between having access to a computer, in the industrial world, and knowing how to make it do physical things. Criminal groups access industrial facilities frequently. But just pushing buttons isn’t necessarily going to cause anything significant,” said Lesley Carhart, director of incident response at industrial cybersecurity specialist Dragos.

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