Implanting malware on computer networks, disabling enemy computer systems, disrupting and grabbing control of an adversary’s infrastructure.
It all sounds so un-Canadian, but these are among the cyber warfare tools developed by the country’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE), according to documents obtained by the Canadian Broadcasting Communications. The CSE is Canada’s electronic spy agency.
The CBC said a 2011 presentation by the CSE lists at least 32 cyber warfare tactics. However, it is not clear whether they are being used or still in development.
BC analyzed the documents in collaboration with The Intercept, a Web site co-founded by journalist Glenn Greenwald who obtained the documents from U.S. National Security Administration whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
In a written statement, the CSE said the documents do “not necessarily reflect current CSE practices or programs.”
The documents indicate that Canada’s computer networks have “been turned into a battlefield without any Canadian being asked: Should it be done? How should it be done?” said Christopher Parsons, surveillance expert with Citizen Lab, an international research group at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.
The documents reveal that CSE works closely with the NSA in “computer network access and exploitation” against targets in Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Mexico.
According to Ron Deibert, director of Citizen Lab, previous documents leaked by Snowden, indicate that CSE uses WARRIORPRIDE, a sophisticated malware that targets mobile phones and maintains a network of botnets used to hack computer networks.