Canada’s electronic spy agency says the threat of cyberattacks on the country’s electoral process is increasing and steps must be taken to counter it. The warning is contained in a new report released Friday by the Communications Security Establishment amid lingering questions and concerns about the role Russia may have played in the last U.S. presidential election. The agency says so-called “hacktivists” and cybercriminals did launch low-level attacks during Canada’s last election in 2015, but those attacks had no discernible impact. At the same time, there were no indications that foreign countries tried to influence the election through cyberattacks or other online methods.
But the report nonetheless warns that such attacks are to be expected in the next federal election in 2019, and while most will be from hacktivist groups, foreign adversaries could be involved as well.
Much depends on what they think about Canada’s foreign and domestic policies, and what positions the different parties have taken on topics that might be of interest to those other countries.
The report says the threat to provincial and municipal remains low, though politicians, parties and even the media are likely to come under increasing threat.