WARMINGTON: CN stoppage caused by cyberattack? | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


There’s only so many times transportation systems can be brought to a halt and online computer systems are brought down, before Canadians become suspicious.

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That time is now.

The last two weeks have seen people claim they hacked the Canadian military, Air Canada, and Canada’s Parliament.

Was Canada’s national rail system the latest victim on Tuesday? Another week, and another vital Canadian computer system is shut down. People understand something is very wrong here.

While there is no indication of a cybersecurity issue, the cause of the outage is currently under investigation,” said CN spokesperson Scott Brown. 

Many tens of thousands of commuters and travellers were stranded Tuesday when Canada’s train system, including GO trains servicing the Toronto area, were mysteriously grounded in the heart of rush hour. 

Last week, the Canadian Armed Forces had its computer system hacked. Canada’s Parliament also had its networks hit with an orchestrated, international cyberattack.

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And don’t forget, Air Canada reported being victimized Sept. 20.

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Was Tuesday’s rail stoppage another cyberattack? Time will tell.  

As reported by the Canadian Press, a group of hackers called Indian Cyber Force claimed responsibility for the incidents involving the military, a hospital and Elections Canada. It also appeared to have infiltrated a handful of websites owned by small businesses in Canada.

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The group referred to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments in Parliament on Sept. 18 in which he alleged there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the killing of Sikh independence activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The B.C. resident had been wanted by India for years and was gunned down in June outside the temple he led.

Trains at the CN Rail Brampton Intermodal Terminal. Photo by Mark Blinch /Reuters

The Times of India reported on Sept. 24 that Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick called the cyberattack on the airline a “limited” disruption that did not affect their “flight operation.”  

But when Canada’s Parliament and other major entities are victimized during a 10-day period, it’s obvious that people need to be informed about what’s going on. 

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It’s no secret that Canada is in a diplomatic cold war with India and in what has been described as a proxy war with Russia. Canadians need to know the details of who is behind these groups and if taxpayers have ever had to pay a ransom? 

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It’s all frightening.

Parliament, with its new Speaker, should convene as soon as possible to deal with cybersecurity issues. When you have planes, Parliament, the military — and maybe trains — compromised by cybercriminals, there’s a problem that demands attention.

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CN, meanwhile, said it was “experiencing an internet connectivity issue” which meant “GO trains, VIA trains in and out of Union station, as well as CN’s customer service portal, all of which require an internet connection to CN’s servers, are currently impacted.” 

CN said in a statement issued Tuesday night that during the outage, it worked with GO to temporarily take over their train dispatching responsibilities.

“This allowed for the partial resumption of GO and VIA services,” said the statement. “GO Transit has now resumed dispatching their lines and they are working to resume their normal movements. CN will be working with GO to review the incident and put in place processes to avoid further disruptions”

What computer system in Canada could be next?

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