New Delhi: The diplomatic strain between India and Canada, triggered by the killing of secessionist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, has taken an alarming turn. A group of hackers identifying themselves as ‘Indian Cyber Force’ temporarily disabled the official website of the Canadian Armed Forces, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The hackers posted a screenshot of their exploit on X (formerly Twitter) after successfully taking down the site.
The hackers’ group issued a threat on September 21, indicating their intention to potentially launch cyberattacks on Canadian cyberspace, warning, “get ready to feel the power.” The following day, the group expressed dissatisfaction with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “allegations and anti-India politics.”
According to Daniel Le Bouthillier, the Head of Media Relations at the Department of National Defence, the disruption to the website began around noon and was subsequently rectified. While a few desktop users could still access the site, it remained inaccessible on most mobile devices. Le Bouthillier emphasized that the brief hacking incident did not have broader implications for their systems.
It’s important to note that the hacked website operates independently from the Canadian government and its National Defence Department’s public sites and internal networks. The Canadian Forces, encompassing various units such as the Canadian Navy, special command groups, and air and space operations, is currently conducting an investigation into the incident.
The cyberattack adds another layer of complexity to the already tense situation between India and Canada stemming from the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The Indian government has not officially commented on the incident, and it remains to be seen how both countries will navigate this cyber crisis amid ongoing diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions.