Canada won't say if China involved in hacking incident

Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:49pm EDT
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada said it was aware hackers had breached security at a domestic manufacturer of software used by big energy companies, but declined to comment on a report that a Chinese group could be responsible.

Calgary-based Telvent Canada Ltd, which is owned by France's Schneider Electric SA, warned customers about the attack, which hit operations in the United States, Canada and Spain, the cyber security news site reported on Wednesday.

"The Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre is aware of this incident and is already working with stakeholders in government and the private sector," public safety ministry spokesman Jean-Paul Duval said in an email late on Thursday. cited experts who said digital fingerprints left during the attack pointed to Chinese hackers.

If a Chinese group were involved it could complicate matters for Canada's Conservative government, which is deciding whether to approve a landmark $15.1 billion bid by China's CNOOC Ltd to take over Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc.

Some legislators are wary of the proposed takeover, in part because of what they say are China's unfair business practices.

Duval, citing operational reasons, declined to comment when asked whether Canada thought Chinese hackers were responsible.

Nexen is based in the oil-rich province of Alberta, the political stronghold of the governing Conservatives.   Continued...

A computer keyboard is seen in Bucharest April 3, 2012. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel