Canadian Security Magazine

Global Affairs Canada investigating ‘malicious’ cyberattack and data breach

The Canadian Press   

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Global Affairs Canada is investigating a cyberattack and data breach that has forced it to limit remote access to its networks. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly delivers remarks at the Global Heads of Mission Meeting discussing the Future of Diplomacy Initiative in Ottawa, on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

Global Affairs Canada announced Tuesday it is investigating a cyberattack and data breach that has forced it to limit remote access to its networks.

The department said in a statement, which confirmed earlier media reports, that early results from the investigation found someone accessed the personal information of employees.

Global Affairs said it shut down remote access to its networks within Canada on Jan. 24, following the discovery of what it describes as “malicious cyber activity.”

Employees working within Global Affairs buildings have full access to the network, while employees working remotely have been given “workarounds” to allow them to keep working.


The federal department that manages Canada’s foreign affairs, including its overseas embassies, consulates and high commissions, said that its critical services and communication channels have remained “accessible and operational.”

Shared Services Canada and the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security are involved in the investigation.

“Early results indicate there has been a data breach and that there has been unauthorized access to personal information of users including employees,” the statement said, adding that the department will contact those affected.

The department said it regularly monitors its network security and has informed the federal privacy commissioner about the breach.

It said that it wouldn’t share more information on specific details “for operational and security reasons.”

Global Affairs Canada experienced another “cyber incident” that stopped access to some online services in January 2022.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2024.

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