The official website of the Canadian Armed Forces was temporarily disabled on Wednesday. According to a report by The Telegraph, the website was hacked by a group of hackers called ‘Indian Cyber Force.’ The group publicized their efforts on platforms like Telegram and X (formerly Twitter), sharing website screenshots during the attack. The armed forces reportedly regained access to the site later.
The Canadian Armed Forces are a branch of the Canadian government that oversees all military operations in the country, including the navy, special command groups, and air and space operations. A member of the ‘Indian Cyber Force’ said they were dissatisfied with the Canadian government’s “allegations and anti-India politics” in a post on X. Despite the short disruption, a spokesperson for the Department of National Defence said they currently have no evidence of any broader impact on their systems. The website affected was separate from the government’s public sites and internal networks.
Last week, Canada’s intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment, warned information and technology administrators in the country about an increase in cyberattacks. The agency cited escalating diplomatic tensions with India as one of the reasons why.
In recent weeks, several Canadian websites have been disrupted by hack attacks. This includes the eCitizen portal used by the public to access a wide range of government services and an attack on the CBC. Both attacks were attributed to the notorious hacker collective Anonymous.
Another target was a government website in Vanuatu, which had to shut down digital services after a cyberattack for about a month. The website was restored a few days ago.
While many of the disrupted websites were linked to the Indian government, this latest attack was carried out by a different group of hackers. The ‘Indian Cyber Force’ has garnered attention for its cyberattacks targeting the Pakistani military and several companies. The gang has also claimed to knock down websites for a Canadian hospital, the Bangladeshi police, and Indonesia’s equivalent of the SAS.
The group has also targeted popular social media platforms like Reddit, Tumblr, and OnlyFans, claiming they promote what the gang calls “disgusting smuts and LGBTQ+ things.” In the past, the ‘Indian Cyber Force’ has even hacked the Facebook pages of prominent Mi’kmaw political activists, including Halifax’s poet laureate Rebecca Thomas. She said she wished the members of the ‘Indian Cyber Force’ could come face to face with the people they have hurt in a way they can understand. “I would love to see that happen,” she told CBC News after Netwon’s press conference. “So that they can see the effects of their actions.” The Department of National Defence is reportedly investigating the incident.