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FINTRAC Takes Systems Offline After Cyber-Incident


March 07, 2024

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FINTRAC Takes Systems Offline After Cyber-Incident

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) has issued a cyber-incident notice, saying it has taken its corporate systems offline to prevent any data leak.

FINTRAC is Canada's financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing watchdog.

Its stated mission is “to facilitate the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities, while ensuring the protection of personal information under its control.”

In a statement on its website, the agency informs Canadians that hackers breached its systems, forcing it to take systems offline as a preemptive measure.

“Over the last 24 hours, FINTRAC has and continues to manage a cyber incident […] As a precautionary measure, FINTRAC has taken its corporate systems offline in order to ensure their integrity and to protect the information that the Centre maintains,” the notice reads.

According to the statement, the attackers didn’t reach the Centre's intelligence or classified systems.

The Centre stops short of describing exactly how this will affect Canadians seeking services from FINTRAC. At the very least, though, citizens should expect some delay in communications with the agency.

“FINTRAC is working closely with its federal partners, including the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre), to protect and restore its systems,” it adds.

Having to “restore” systems may suggest a malware attack – more specifically, a ransomware incident where attackers typically deploy data-crippling malware after stealing sensitive information. However, judging by FINTRAC’s tone, the situation doesn’t seem too dire.

The agency promises to provide updates on its website as information becomes available.

FINTRAC also warns citizens to be wary of scams, or fraudsters impersonating Canadian government services seeking access to personal and financial information.

When in doubt, Bitdefender recommends Scamio, our AI-powered scam detector. Instead of playing detective, simply copy-paste the message, upload an image, send a link, or simply describe your situation in your own words. Scamio will analyze it and let you know if it’s safe or not.




Filip has 15 years of experience in technology journalism. In recent years, he has turned his focus to cybersecurity in his role as Information Security Analyst at Bitdefender.

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