Here is a list of some recent, alleged high-profile attacks against Canadian and other interests:
— A 19-year-old Western University student was charged in April after the Canada Revenue Agency reported that 900 social insurance numbers were stolen from its computer systems. The agency said it came under attack as the result of a vulnerability to the Heartbleed bug, a computer coding flaw that allows for leaks of encrypted data.
— In 2011, hackers reportedly gained access to Treasury Board and Finance Department computers using IP addresses from China, forcing a temporary shutdown of systems in three departments.
— A 2009 memo from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), released in May 2010, warned that cyber attacks were on the rise against Canadian government, university, and industry computers.
— The Wall Street Journal and Financial Post reported in 2012 that hackers, allegedly from China, had access for more than a decade to the computer networks of former Canadian telecommunications giant Nortel, until the company went bankrupt in 2009.
— Reports have alleged that Chinese hackers targeted law firms involved in BHP Billiton Ltd.'s proposed takeover bid for Saskatchewan’s Potash Corp. with the intent of influencing negotiations.
— Even the big computer world players are not immune. Apple Inc., revealed in a report last year that some of its employees’ computers had been infiltrated by hackers. The Wall Street Journal reported that the same malware was also used to target Facebook Inc.