NATO allies brace for serious cyber attacks that could be the trigger for war

The warnings came last week of a possible Russian cyber attack on Canadian installations. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, a branch of the Communications Security Establishment, reported knowledge of “foreign cyber threat activities, including by Russian-backed actors, to target Canadian critical infrastructure network operators, their operational and information technology.”

It did not take a rocket scientist, or a cyber-expert, to conclude that such threats were linked to statements made by Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly on her recent trip to Ukraine and other European nations. “The recently launched diplomatic process offers Russia two options: they can choose meaningful dialogue, or severe consequences,” Joly said. “Canada will be ready to take additional measures, particularly with respect to the financial sector.”

When asked whether there was any truth to the possibility of cyber attacks, the Russians didn’t give a straight nyet. On CTV’s Sunday morning program Question Period, host Evan Solomon put the question to the Russian Ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov. A chuckling Stepanov replied, “Well it’s absolutely false warning. Because once again there is no rationale for Russia to act this way. What practical gain, moral, financial, material gain would Russia have if it hypothetically engaged in such an activity?”

What gain indeed, other than sending a warning shot over NATO’s bow designed to discourage assistance by Canada with NATO’s efforts in Ukraine? Note that Stepanov left out “political or military” gain from his answer — the two obvious reasons Russia would engage in this kind of intimidation.

Read the full column on the National Post website

Leave a Reply