Beware of hackers, Commons IT officials tell staff

OTTAWA — Employees of the House of Commons are being warned to be on the lookout for suspicious emails from hackers looking for personal information.

Two memos sent Friday from Commons IT staff says its employees, along with private sector workers, are “currently being targeted by several cyberattacks.”

The first alert, sent Friday morning, says hackers have stolen large volumes of personal data in the attacks.

A second alert, sent just after noon, says there is no evidence that personal data has been stolen from Commons accounts, but does say they have been targeted.

It appears from the memos that hackers are sending phishing emails that look like they come from official accounts, but instead are a technological ruse to trick recipients into giving up personal information. Commons IT officials, in the most recent memo, warn workers not to hand out their passwords to anyone and delete any suspicious-looking messages.

Last year, a phishing scam that had the hallmarks of a state-sponsored attack allowed hackers into the systems of the National Research Council.

The government blamed China for the attack that forced the NRC to shut down its computer system and use a temporary network while a new system was built to better withstand further attacks.

The Canadian Press