When former spies break their silence about national security, people generally pay attention. It was no surprise, then, that it raised eyebrows when John Adams, former head of Communications Security Establishment Canada, called cyber crime “a runaway freight train.”
Speaking at the Ottawa Conference on Defence and Security, Adams warned that Canada’s critical infrastructure is the country’s weakest point.
His message carried added weight coming within days of a report by Mandiant that cited Chinese cyber attacks on systems that regulate North American infrastructure components including Canadian oil pipelines.
While saying that it is no simple matter for foreign powers to gain control of critical infrastructure, Adams urged governments to make it mandatory for utility companies and others to tighten security.
“If one’s weak, they’re all weak,” he said, addressing the Obama administration’s decision to accept voluntary security standards for companies that run critical infrastructure in the United States.