The Canadian government’s National Research Council has turned off its computers to contain an intrusion thought to be the work of Chinese hackers.
The perpetrators had been trying to navigate NRC computers for the past month.
Sources say the breach has implications beyond NRC because the government has converted 43 departments into a shared data service system.
On July 28, it was decided that a complete shutdown was necessary to stop the hackers from stealing sensitive information.
NRC, Canada’s top science and technology research organization, studies satellite technology, space and industrial innovations and modified foods, among other topics.
On Tuesday, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing to complain about the incident.
Canadian officials that day confirmed CTV News’s story that NRC computer systems had been targeted "by a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor."
"We have no evidence that data compromises have occurred on the broader Government of Canada network," the government said in a statement. Officials said it could take up to a year before a more secure computer system is put in place.