Canadian energy companies may be at risk from activist hacker groups, according to documents obtained from the country's national security agencies.
Companies extracting and refining oil from the controversial oil sands region of Northern Alberta could incur attacks from Anonymous, said internal reviews from The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Communications Security Establishment Canada, and Public Safety Canada.
All three agencies conducted analyses of digital threats to the oil sands sector, according to the documents obtained by Bloomberg News.
In July 2011, Anonymous called out several companies associated with the oil sands, including Exxon Mobil, Conoco Philips, Canadian Oil Sands, Imperial Oil and the Royal Bank of Scotland. It expressed support for anti-oil sands protesters and criticized oil companies for damaging the environment.
Anonymous has also been identified as the source of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Public Safety Canada, according to internal memos obtained under a freedom of information request by Canadian news outlet PostMedia. Shared Services Canada, a governmental body tasked with centralizing government data centers, said that Anonymous took down the Houses of Parliament website in Canada for more than four hours on Feb. 17 this year.Internal Shared Services Canada memos suggest that this attack was targeted at Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who has been behind controversial lawful access legislation.