At the end of July, the foreign ministry of the Chinese government accused Canada of making irresponsible accusations, which it said lacked credible evidence, after officials said a “highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor” had recently broken into Canada’s National Research Council, which is the country’s leading research body.
Though Canada has reported hacking incidents previously, this was the first time that the nation singled out China, which is frequently cited as a suspect in international hacking incidents.
China reacted the same way it usually does when it’s accused of hacking other countries — with indignation, outrage, and vehement opposition.
“The Canadian side, while lacking credible evidence, offered criticism for no reason. This is irresponsible and China is resolutely opposed to this,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang. “We urge the Canadian side to correct its mistake, stop criticizing China for no reason, and dispel the negative effects that have come from this.”
Though this may be the first time Canada has singled China out for cyber attacks, it’s not the first time the Chinese have been linked to hacking attempts in Canada. Back in 2011, hackers broke into Canada’s finance ministry’s computer systems, as well as the systems of other departments. Then, Canada became aware in 2012 that hackers had breached security at a Canadian manufacturer of software used by the energy industry.
Canada declined to comment in each incident about whether it felt that the Chinese were behind the attacks. Now, three years after the initial incident, it seems Canada has finally had it.