OTTAWA – Canadian officials are currently investigating an apparent hack of their official government police sites, noting the sites were taken offline and defaced following a cyber attack launched Friday.
Visitors to the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Police department websites were met with an error early Monday, having their browser notify them the sites were in fact offline.
The attack on Canada’s official government sites follow an apparent website defacement launched Friday, where visitors to the site were greeted with a picture of an 8-bit dancing banana, along with a message directed towards Ottawa police.
The hack came from the hacker collective Anonymous, prominently know for taking stand and launching cyber attacks throughout the world when countries or states are in need. The apparent attack was launched by a member claiming to be associated with the collective.
Ottawa officials pulled the websites offline after a large Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack hit the government sites, while a user on Twitter threatened to hack the sites “again.”
The Canadian government believe files throughout the server remain safe, and claim hackers did not infiltrate the server nor gain access to any sensitive information. Both sites were turned back online over the weekend, followed by downtime once again on Monday. During the time of this writing this article, both sites currently remain offline due to the Canadian Government hack attack.
Canadian law enforcement noted they are continuing “to address the service issues affecting ottawapolice.ca,” refraining from detail noting the investigation is currently underway.
Who is behind the Canadian Government Site Hacking?
User going under the screen name Aerith claimed responsibility for hacking the Canadian government websites taking them offline. The attack comes in light after a 16-year-old Canadian was arrested under 60 criminal counts for online swatting among other charges.
The hacker contacted the family of the teenager, who cannot be identified under Canadian Law, but is believed to be hacker known under screen name ProbablyOnion2, a teen arrested back in May charged with 60 criminal accounts related to online crime.
Shortly after Aerith made contact with the family, the hacker contacted the father who said he discovered what was believed to be “law enforcement eavesdropping equipment hidden in compact fluorescent light bulbs,” according to information provided by the collective, reported the New York Times.
Aerith contacted the family claiming to have proof that will vindicate the teen of all charges. The father nor hacker have released evidence that prove the teen was falsely accused of the 60 criminal accounts.
Anonymous has threatened to extend their attacks towards other Canadian government sites and launch continuous cyber attacks towards Ottawa police.