It has been identified that the Canadian Political Parties have become victim to hacking by at least one external state-backed entity.
The Communication Security Establishment, an electronic spy agency in its long-held report finally declared that Canadian political parties and operatives including political parties’ candidates and staff have become a target of these sophisticated hacking campaign led by an external state-sponsored entity.
As per the cautiously worded report released by the spy agency, Political parties and its operatives were attacked one-tenth of state-sponsored hacking campaigns against the democratic process globally in 2018 affecting a large segment of the electoral process which still needs quantification.
The worrisome aspect of the investigation and its findings are based on the fact that it still remains unchallenged, indicating an element of report viability.
Given the existing political procedures the hacking complex has the potential to altogether dampen the overall democratic electoral process of the country. As till now there is no regulation on federal political parties of Canada as to what information/data of the citizens they can collect, store and analyze.
The report released by the spy agency further states that due to absence of such regulation, “(Foreign hackers) may steal information and then release it to the public for the purpose of embarrassing or discrediting the political party or candidate. In order to enhance this effect, a threat actor may modify information before releasing it to the public.”
In the given state of affairs, it is feasible for “Foreign adversaries to steal voter or party databases because they fetch a price on illicit areas of the internet, where large quantities of personal identity information are constantly bought and sold. They can steal sensitive campaign documents and communications and sell or release them. And they can disrupt or destroy a party’s information, networks and devises using malware, such as ransomware.”
As of now Canadian law enforcement and security officials are concerned on how the foreign adversary leading these hacking campaigns is planning to use the hacked data and how it will influence the overall federal elections.
If we closely analyze it is quite clear that the alien entity leading such campaigns has selectively chosen strong countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia and recently Canada, raising the cause of serious concern.
It looks like a specific pattern is followed by a single entity to dampen democratic process, particularly for some geopolitical agendas. However, to say that with full confidence needs more than just a speculative stance.