Thursday, July 30, 2015

Could the hacker group Anonymous take down the upcoming federal election?

Good Day Readers:

The hacker group Anonymous has shown time and time again it can take down websites with Denial of Service attacks. The RCMP, CSIS, the Prime Minister's Office, federal Department of Justice - the list goes on and on. This is largely due to the government failing to spend the money to adequately secure these sites.

You already know Anonymous dislikes the Harper government largely because of the anti-terrorist legislation Bill C-51 but there has been other laws passed with which it strongly disagrees. Imagine this as a scenario. The federal election gets well under way and down goes the Elections Canada site, or those of Conservative candidates in key Ontario and Quebec ridings. Oh for sure Denial of Service attacks are an inconvenience and pain in the ass and sites can be restored but if this is done multiple times what will be the impact on the electoral process? Plus, let us not forget there is a legion of non-affiliated Anonymous hackers with the know how to do the same.

Doubt Anonymous do we? Just look at the number it did on Vic Toews while he was Public Safety Minister via a series of 6-YouTube videos that remain in the internet to this day.
Will the hacking of election related websites be a major issue? Given the increased reliance by political parties on the social media to get their message out CyberSmokeBlog thinks so.

Clare L. Pieuk
Anonymous threatens to reveal text messages from John Baird that allegedly reveal 'real reason' he left politics

Adrian Humphreys
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Former federal cabinet minister John Baird.

Hackers with Anonymous — who last week leaked a seemingly legitimate secret document on cyber-security at Canada’s spy agency — threatened Wednesday to release decrypted text messages from former Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird allegedly showing the “real reason” why he abruptly left politics.
The warning was made in social media from an account the National Post confirms is one that has been operated by activists responsible for the CSIS leak.

No evidence was presented by the hacktivists to support the claim.

When reached by the National Post, Baird declined to comment on the warning. Requests for comment to the Department of Foreign Affairs went unanswered.

Baird, who was one of the highest-profile members of Stephen Harper’s cabinet, quit suddenly in February to join the private sector.

Announcing his resignation with optimism for “the next chapter in my life,” his friends suggested he was heading to Bay Street and he found himself in demand.

The month after leaving he was hired as an International Advisor to Barrick Gold Corp and nominated to the Board of Directors of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. In May he joined law firm Bennett Jones LLP as a Senior Adviser among others. At the time, when opposition critics questioned his quick moves, he said he consulted the Ethics Commissioner before accepting his new roles and “got the green light.”

The Twitter account @OpAnonDown — named in honour of its claimed mission of seeking justice for an Anonymous protester shot and killed by the RCMP during a confrontation in Dawson Creek, British Columbia — said text messages and a video are pending for release on this subject.

No timeline was given for any such release.

“#Breaking: we’ve decrypted text messages w/ real reason @Baird quit #cdnpoli abruptly. Video too. Stay tuned. #CCLeaks #AnonDown #OpAnonDown,” the tweet reads.

The hackers behind that account earlier leaked a document marked with a security classification of secret purporting to be from the Treasury Board of Canada and revealing previously unknown details of the foreign stations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

The government has not debunked the CSIS information as bogus. The National Post has not been able to independently verify it is a legitimate document.

“We do not comment on leaked documents and we continue to monitor this situation closely,”

Jeremy Laurin, a Spokesman for the Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney, said Monday evening about the earlier leak.

Secrets about the foreign activities of Canada’s spy agency — including the size of its network of foreign stations, the volume of sensitive communications they handle and their deeply antiquated system of information sharing — are revealed in what is purported to be a sensitive government document hacked by Anonymous and released Monday in a vendetta against Canadian authorities.

“We are now privy to many of Stephen Harper’s most cherished secrets,” said a spokesman for the Anonymous hacktivists involved in the leak operation. “We will be releasing stunning secrets at irregular intervals.”

At an event in Taylor, British Columbia, Wednesday, Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, was asked by the Alaska Highway News about the leaks.

“I don’t comment on the veracity of leaked documents,” the newspaper quotes him saying. “Let me just say this… we treat any and all breaches very seriously. While this Anonymous group has kind of a clownish way of going about its advocacy and business, these are very serious issues.”

In response, a spokesperson for the hackers told the Post: “We are filled with all kinds of pleasures that Tony Clement blocked us on Twitter then called us ‘clownish.’

“Court jesters, clowns and political comedians have always been able to tell truths where others cannot.”

The CBC reported that the leak is now subject to a criminal probe by the RCMP and an investigation by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSE).

Neither agency would confirm this.

It would be inappropriate for the RCMP to comment on documents that are leaked and/or that do not originate from our organization

“Only in the event that an investigation results in the laying of criminal charges, would the RCMP confirm its investigation,” said Sergeant Harold Pfleiderer, a spokesman for the RCMP’s national headquarters.

“Also, it would be inappropriate for the RCMP to comment on documents that are leaked and/or that do not originate from our organization.”

The CSE referred calls to Public Safety, which in turn had no information it would impart.

The Post has been in contact with a spokesperson for the Anonymous team claiming responsibility for the hacks and leak, who demanded anonymity, unsurprisingly.

Baird had a successful political life spanning two decades where he became known for his tremendous energy, partisanship and quick tongue as he defended his government. He was foreign minister for more than three years prior to his resignation.

National Post


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