The most interesting DDoS ever?

Those of you outside of Canada may not have been following this
story, but you might want to as this one seems to have it all:
  • Accusations of police ineptitude and overreach
  • Listening devices
  • Claims and counter-claims concerning Anonymous
  • Twitter sparring
  • Social engineering
  • Multiple DDoS attacks
  • Bureaucratic boilerplate statements aplenty

The abbreviated story goes something like this…

  • An Ottawa teenager is charged with 60 offences related to
    ‘swatting’ various targets across North America.
  • Hacker claims to have proof that said teen is innocent – identifies another as the culprit. 
  • Hacker contacts family of the accused and the media.  Listening devices apparently discovered at suspects home. 
  • Hacker takes down city, police and court websites to bring attention to the case. 
  • Officials assure the public that no data has been breached, but that hacker managed to get password from service provider via phone. 
  • Hacker continues to post via social media, promising proof. 
  • Father of the accused now says he is a ‘person of interest’ in the case.
We’ve seen hundreds of ddos attacks in the news over the years,
and thousands of them in the security community.  They usually aren’t all that noteworthy and barely get a second glance.  The attacks in Ottawa and Canada over the past couple of weeks are rather unique, however.  You can catch up on the saga via:

Congratulations to our big winners at RSAC 2014!

The Defence Intelligence road crew has arrived back from RSA Conference 2014 and wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who came out to to visit our little piece of Canada at the event.  It was great to see so many current and future clients and to talk to them about what makes us unique in the space.

We gave out thousands of maple syrup candies, hundreds of DI hockey pucks and got to gloat a little about the Olympic hockey wins.  We are also proud to announce the big winners of our draw:

1st Prize:  1 year FREE Nemesis Advanced Malware Protection Service (up to $25,000.00) and a signed Jean Beliveau NHL jersey

Winner:   Patrick Russ – Wells Fargo

2nd Prize:  Free Harbinger Network Risk Assessment and a Canadian olympic hockey jersey

Winner: George Ribeiro – RingCentral

3rd Prize:  Free Harbinger Network Risk Assessment (20 units)

Winners: Contacted via email

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to see what the hockey jerseys were all about, we’re looking forward to next year already.

A big thank you must also go out to Travis and Julie from Owly Design for tolerating our constant stream of edits and to our Taqueria Angel for keeping us fed.

DND Move to Nortel Questioned Again

Nortel Ottawa
Nortel Ottawa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In 2010, it was announced that the future home of Canada’s Department of National Defence was going to be at the old Nortel Networks complex, in Ottawa.  Many voiced a concern over the cost of renovating the Nortel campus, estimated at over $600 million on top of the $200 million purchase of the land. The security of the campus was also a major concern for the new owners according to recent DND briefing documents. Now the location choice has again come into question over recent findings lurking in the building.
A new report by the Ottawa Citizen reveals that electronic listening devices were found at the former Nortel campus.  This report also disclosed that Defence Minister Peter MacKay was warned that the DND moving into the complex before it could be properly secured created a major problem. Keith Murphy, CEO of Defence Intelligence said “There are more than enough problems with the proposed move already. Drastic budget increases, questionable benefits, unsubstantiated savings forecasts, and now the inherent security of the location itself. This might just be the final nail in the coffin for the proposal.”
Though it is unknown if the devices are still functioning or even transmitting, this could be the problem that the briefing document was referring to. DND spokeswoman Carole Brown said in response to the recent discovery that “The DND/CAF must maintain a safe and secure environment at all of its facilities, in order to maintain Canada’s security posture at home and abroad” but it hasn’t been stated if the persons who discovered the devices were even from the DND. Another unanswered question is whether the devices were intended to spy on DND or were remnants of espionage against Nortel. “While we don’t know with certainty of any active campaign targeting DND” said Murphy, “we do know that the site was compromised for over a decade while Nortel was the primary tenant.”
Hackers allegedly based in China, using malware and stolen credentials, carried on a decade-long campaign of stealing technical papers, R&D reports, employee e-mails, and other sensitive documents from the network company. Some believe that the former Canadian technology giant went bankrupt because of the Chinese hackers. Brian Shields, the former senior systems security adviser at Nortel, stated in an interview with CBC’s As It Happens that spying by hackers “absolutely” was a “considerable factor.” 
What happened to Nortel isn’t an isolated incident in Canada.  In January 2011, CBC News ran a story, foreign hackers attack Canadian government. Computer systems at 3 key departments were penetrated, including access to highly classified information at the Finance Department, Treasury Board, and Defence Research and Development Canada. So why take the chance with moving Canada’s Department of National Defence into a site that has already been compromised?

“DND told CTV News it may abandon the move, and sources said it’s unlikely any other department would take over the former Nortel site because of the security risks.”
The full CTV story with the Keith Murphy interview can be found at

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Start Your 2013 Learning and Connecting

Photo image thanks to Keerati at
Is one of your resolutions for 2013 to remain
current with security information and connected with security professionals? Then
one event you’ll want to include in your schedule is the Canadian Security
Partners’ Forum’s second annual Women in Security Lecture Series. The event will
be hosted in Ottawa, ON at the Hampton Inn and Conference Centre on Thurs Feb 7
at 5:30PM.
The CSPF is committed to creating a meeting place
for all disciplines and domains within security, including national security,
defence, law enforcement, public sector, private sector and public safety. Last
year more than 300 in the security profession came out, with almost an even
split of women (55%) and men (45%).
The confirmed speakers list includes:
  • Dr. Alison Wakefield
  • Senior
    Professor in Security and Risk Management at the Institute of Criminal Justice
    Studies, University of Portsmouth
  • Director
    of the Academic Board at the Security Institute
  • Serves
    on the editorial boards of Security Journal and Police Practice and Research
  • Her
    influential publications on criminology and law enforcement include: Selling
    Security: The Private Policing of Public Space; The
    Sage Dictionary of Policing; and Ethical
    and Social Perspectives on Situational Crime Prevention 

Natalie Runyon, MBA, CPP
  • Director,
    Global Security, Thomson Reuters
  • Owner
    of CSO Leadership Training
  • Member
    of the ASIS CSO Roundtable and its Leadership Development Committee
  • Former
    Illicit Transactions Analyst for the Office of Global Security, Goldman Sachs
    with the Central Intelligence Agency

Christina Duffey, CPP
  • Vice
    President, Operations, Paragon Security
  • Former
    President, ASIS Professional Certification Board (PCB)
  • Recognized
    expert in the security field with extensive security operations knowledge and
    expertise in asset protection, physical security, and risk management

Sylvia Fraser, CPP, PMP, CRM, CSPM (Moderator)
  • Corporate
    Security Supervisor, City of Toronto – which requires Sylvia to oversee the Business
    Strategies and Risk Management Office
  • 14
    years of experience in the security industry providing security management,
    security system designs and project management across both government and
    private security endeavours
  • Specializes
    in security risk management programs, portfolio management, and critical

closing comments to this exemplary list of presenters is Colleen D’Iorio,
Executive Director, Security and Identity Management (Treasury Board of Canada
Secretariat). Previously she held the distinguished roles as Director General
Access and Director General Cyber Protection Communications Security Establishment of Canada

Defence Intelligence is proud to be a Diamond Level Sponsor for  CSPF’s Women in Security Lecture Series. We hope to see you there. 

Tickets, which include a full meal, are only $70.
Register today, this event is sure to sell out.
For more details and to register visit:

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proudly sponsored CounterMeasure|2012 this year and found it lived up to all our

The quality of the event was impressive, especially considering it was its
first year, and drew in attendees, presenters and vendors from across Canada
and the U.S. It was of course great to meet up with colleagues and old friends, but having a conference like this in Canada’s capital is not just important. It’s necessary.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says Canada is going to take cyber security seriously, with budget additions and action plans, but there is more to it than that, and alliances and cooperation have to take place outside governments as well. That’s where conferences like CounterMeasure come in, uniting the right minds in security to bring about wide-scale change. Sometimes this starts with the basics.

Some of the CounterMeasure presentations we attended and discussions we participated in were focused on the need for organizations to focus on security fundamentals such as IDS and network segmentation. Other conversations and talks were about the need for collaboration or the scope of the war waged between security professionals on both sides of the game. Some talks drilled down into the details of malware analysis and it was all received very well by the attending community.

were a good number of people to connect with over the two days. Good number as
in you weren’t lost in a sea of people but instead had the opportunity to meet
with everyone there. There was the time and space to have a meaningful conversation
and talk about new theories, analysis as well as current events that are making
the news.
put a good face on this call for change in security by addressing the current needs and
drawing a broad section of security focused executives, managers and technical
engineers to join in and expand the conversation.
look forward to sponsoring, participating and meeting with you at

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Canadian Security Partners’ Forum – Effective Resource for Security Executives

Canada (Photo credit: palindrome6996)
Canadian security executives have long needed the proper
support system and forum regarding the landscape of security in Canada.  The Canadian Security Partners’ Forum (CSPF)
is answering that need. The Forum is a unique network that in just one year has
grown to include over 80 organizations that represent most horizontals in most
verticals across industry sectors.
The Forum’s success can be traced back to its founder, Grant
Lecky, who has a diverse background in security and risk management and a
strong focus on business continuity planning and emergency planning and
organizational resilience. Lecky was recently acknowledged by Security Magazine for his efforts, identifying him as one of ‘The Most Influential People in
Security 2012’.
Security executives, educators and thought leaders have all
embraced the Forum’s concepts and goals, helping to overcome the isolation of
silos that often gets in the way for most other organizations.
Bonnie Butlin, Executive Director for CSPF, has observed that “you usually don’t see such swift growth in helpful agile networks. It’s more
often observed in threat networks.”
One of the many ways the CSPF helps to work with the
security community is to be a catalyst and facilitator to help inspire
conversations followed by action to build new networks that fill recognized
voids. As the Forum’s Executive Director, Butlin tracks trends in the news as
well as in forum discussions to identify gaps in the community, and then brings
them forward to be addressed by the Forum participants. By proactively engaging
discussions on observed trends the Forum and its participants can respond to
topics of concern as they arise, not just after the fact.
In the upcoming October issue of Vanguard, CSPF
will be featured in an article outlining just how effective the organization
has become in addressing the foundation needs in joint force development. The
article is based on the Joint Staff’s study “Decade of War Volume I: Enduring
Lessons from the Past Decade of Operations”, which highlights 11 strategic themes
for enabling responsiveness, versatility and affordability for collaborative
mission focused groups. Originally used as a post-Iraq evaluation, the themes
are applied to the security community and the CSPF.
Defence Intelligence is proud to support the CSPF and the
security community at large in proactively combatting threats to Canadian and
North American networks.

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