Global Affairs Canada is currently investigating a data breach that has affected its internal network, resulting in unauthorized access to personal information of users, including employees. The department has confirmed that mitigation measures are being taken to ensure the security of sensitive and personal information. The breach has led to the suspension of remote access to the network, prompting several employees to stop working remotely.
According to CBC News, the breach impacted two internal drives, emails, calendars, and contacts of several staff members. In an email sent to the employees, it was revealed that the internal systems were vulnerable between December 20, 2023, and January 24, 2024, potentially causing the exposure of information for anyone using a Secure Integrated Global Network (SIGNET) laptop. SIGNET is the secure network used by the GAC.
The compromised Virtual Private Network (VPN), managed by the Federal Government’s Shared Services Canada, was identified as the cause of the data breach. This VPN is used by remote workers to access GAC’s headquarters, but the full extent of the breach is still unknown.
In response to the breach, the GAC has implemented measures to protect employees’ personal information and secure corporate networks. This includes addressing the compromised VPN managed by Shared Services Canada (SSC) and its impact on the GAC HQ VPN-related network traffic. Despite these efforts, details about the identity of the threat actors responsible for the attack have not been disclosed.
It is clear that the GAC is taking the data breach seriously and is actively working to address the vulnerability in its network. The investigation into the breach is ongoing, and further updates may be provided as more information becomes available. In the meantime, affected individuals are being contacted with mitigation measures to mitigate the potential risks associated with the unauthorized access to personal information.
The incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing cybersecurity challenges faced by organizations, particularly those operating remotely. As cyber threats continue to evolve, it is imperative for government agencies and businesses to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to safeguard sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access to their networks.
The GAC is expected to provide updates on the investigation and any additional security measures that may be implemented in the aftermath of the data breach. As the situation unfolds, it is crucial for employees and users connected to the GAC network to remain aware of potential security risks and follow best practices to protect their personal information.