Sophisticated phishing scams putting secrets at risk, Foreign Affairs says

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OTTAWA — Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department says too many of its employees are being deceived by digital scams — a “serious problem” that could see sensitive information end up in the wrong hands.

The department says the increasingly sophisticated phishing campaigns are targeting email, texting and social media accounts.

Foreign Affairs plans to hire a company to test employees with phoney phishing messages to raise awareness and stamp out the electronic scourge.

In a tender call issued today, the department says workers who click on tempting but bogus links would be directed to educational resources to help them identify telltale traits of such messages.

The department warns a successful attack could lead to everything from a malware infection or loss of information to complete shutdown of a government network or even a breach that puts staff in physical danger.

Four years ago hackers used emails, malware and password theft to worm their way into National Research Council computers in pursuit of valuable scientific and trade secrets.

The Canadian Press