The recruiting web page for the Canadian Armed Forces appears to have been hacked Thursday, redirecting users to an official Chinese state page.
Users visiting forces.ca, which is the main landing page for would-be recruits, were instead getting a page full of information and statements about Chinese government ministers, and their activities, in that country. The site now shows an error message instead.
It is unclear who is responsible for the attack.
Two government sources told CBC News the recruiting website was hosted externally by a private-sector provider.
One of the officials, who has asked to remain anonymous because of the ongoing investigation, said that servers at the Department of National Defence were not compromised in the attack.
“This is a serious matter,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters Thursday after question period. “We don’t want to jump to conclusions, but when something of this nature happens … we treat it with real gravity, and we’ll investigate it. That process is underway right now.”
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It’s not the first time the Canadian government has been hit by hackers; several websites were taken down in June 2015.
The hacking group Anonymous claimed responsibility for that attack, saying it was payback for the former Conservative government’s surveillance legislation, Bill C-51.
The websites for several federal departments — including weather.gc.ca, servicecanada.gc.ca and parl.gc.ca — were shut down and many federal employees also lost email service.
During that incident, the National Defence website remained online.
A month later, in July 2015, another group of hackers struck again, breaking into the network of the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board, a tribunal that adjudicates disputes between public servants and the federal government.