* To spend C$155 mln more to combat hackers, cyber espionage
* U.S. warnings, recent hacking attempts play into decision
By Randall Palmer
OTTAWA, Oct 17 Canada said on Wednesday it will
beef up its defenses against Internet hackers as it grapples
with reports of Chinese hacking of Canadian companies and a U.S.
warning of the risks of Chinese cyber espionage.
The government will spend an additional C$155 million ($158
million) over five years on strengthening its response center
for dealing with cyber threats in the private sector as well as
boosting the security of the government's own communications,
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said.
The announcement came less than a month after Toews'
department acknowledged a pair of cyber attacks on a Canadian
energy company and on a manufacturer of software used by energy
firms. The government declined to comment on reports that
suggested a Chinese connection.
A U.S. congressional report last week warned of the risks of
doing business with Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei
Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp
because of possible Chinese cyber espionage.
"Keeping our cyber networks and infrastructure secure and
resilient is one of the most challenging issues facing our
government, our citizens and our allies," Toews told a news
conference at a technical college in Ottawa.
"I can assure you that our government is fully engaged in
meeting and overcoming this challenge."
Declining to name China or any company, Toews said his
announcement was partly in response to concerns that have been
raised but also part of a broader strategy laid out two years
ago to try to make Canada's cyber infrastructure safe.
The focus on China has come at an awkward time for Chinese
state-owned CNOOC Ltd, whose $15.1 billion bid to buy
Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc needs Canadian
Toews said strengthening the provisions of Investment Canada
Act, which governs foreign takeovers of Canada companies, may be
"This is a constant struggle because of the nature of
technology and how quickly technology is evolving, so we are
certainly looking at all possibilities when we look to further
buttress our secure mechanisms," he said.
The new government funding is on top of a previous
allocation of C$90 million over five years.