The Liberals have adopted a new approach to dealing with cyberattacks, in an effort to improve its image abroad.
In a report released Tuesday, the office of Canada’s cybersecurity commissioner said the Liberals are failing to do enough to curb the use of online spyware, malware and botnets, or botnets.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Robyn B. Calkins, the chair of the cybercrime office, said the government has not acted quickly enough.
She said it is a “crisis that we have to address.”
She also cited a lack of support for Canadians’ security, and said there has been a reluctance to share information about the threat from the federal government.
The report said the Trudeau government should have put more resources into cybersecurity.
But it also noted that a federal agency is responsible for developing and deploying cybersecurity strategies, which is why it was chosen as the target of the study.
It noted that the government’s “operational capabilities have not been adequately integrated with the wider threat assessment and reporting systems” and the country’s cybersecurity agencies are “not meeting the operational requirements to effectively assess and respond to cyberthreats.”
The Liberal government has repeatedly defended its cybersecurity efforts, including by stressing its focus on data-protection.
In response to the cyberattack on the Liberal government’s website last month, Trudeau said the online surveillance tool is not “a threat to Canada.”
He also said the information sharing program has “nothing to do with national security,” but with ensuring “that the information shared is relevant to our national security interests.”
However, the report noted that Trudeau’s statement did not specify what national security interest the information was meant to protect.
The cyberthreat “is not directed at the Government of Canada, nor are they directed at anyone in Canada,” the report said.
“The threat to Canadians is an ongoing and evolving threat that can be used by adversaries to further an agenda of harm to the Canadian people.”
The report comes amid a spate of cyberattacks on Canadian websites, including at least one that was launched by a group calling itself “The Liberal Conspiracy,” which targeted Liberal Party of Canada websites.
Cuckoo’s nest has been used to launch attacks on the federal Liberals in recent weeks, including the one that hit their website.
A separate attack targeting the Liberal Party website was launched on Tuesday, but it was quickly blocked.
The Liberals are expected to unveil new cybersecurity measures in the next few days.
Cankins said the issue of cybersecurity is not something the government will discuss during its meeting with the House of Commons cybersecurity committee on Wednesday.
“I would say that we are taking a step back,” she said.