Canada accuses China of hacking into National Research Council

The organization, which handles Canada's R&D efforts, is rebuilding its IT infrastructure and says the hack didn't extend into the rest of the government's networks.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger


Canada has accused China of hacking into government servers and attempting to steal information.

The National Research Council, which handles Canada's research and development efforts on behalf of its government, confirmed Tuesday that its IT infrastructure was hacked but said the intrusion was isolated to its own servers and did not extend into the rest of the government's networks.

Canada's chief information officer, Corinne Charette, told the CBC that the attack came from a "highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor." Canada raised the issue with Beijing, according to Canada's Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the two governments held a "full and frank exchange of views."

The National Research Council said it will build a new IT infrastructure that could take up to a year to complete.

China has been actively targeting Western governments for years. According to the US, China-based hackers have repeatedly attempted to access government systems to conduct cyberespionage. The situation came to a head in May when the US Justice Department filed charges against five members of the Chinese military for allegedly hacking American corporate networks and stealing information. Earlier this month, the US charged Chinese businessman Su Bin for allegedly hacking Boeing and other US defense contractor networks.

China has dismissed or ignored accusations that it is behind the hacking of American government and corporate networks and instead accuses the US of the same.