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Canada suffering massive nationwide internet outage – possibly millions impacted

Global cyber security. (Piqsels/Released)
July 08, 2022

On Friday, a massive outage hit one of the largest Internet Service Providers in Canada, causing widespread disruptions that impacted banks, police and possibly millions of consumers nationwide. NetBlocks, a network disruption tracker, determined the outage cut off 25 percent of Canada’s internet traffic.

Rogers Communications, a telecommunications company that boasts tens of millions of customers throughout Canada and roughly 23,000 employees, first reported outages across Canada on Friday morning. Rogers has not revealed the cause of the outage, nor a timeline for getting back online.

“We know how important it is for our customers to stay connected. We are aware of issues currently affecting our networks and our teams are fully engaged to resolve the issue as soon as possible. We will continue to keep you updated as we have more information to share,” Rogers tweeted.

NetBlocks tweeted an update of the outage on Friday afternoon, showing that Canada “remains in the midst of a major internet and telecommunications outage ~12 hours after a disruption to the Rogers network.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, law enforcement officials in Ottawa and Toronto said some callers may not be able to reach emergency services.

“Our technical teams are working to restore our services alongside our global technology partners, and are making progress. We know how much you rely on our networks. Today we have let you down. We are working to make this right as quickly as we can. We will continue to keep you updated, including when services will be back online,” the company said in an alert on its website.

The New York Times reported that the Communications Security Establishment – a Canadian cybersecurity and intelligence agency, offered to help Rogers respond to the outage, agency spokesman Evan Koronewski said.

Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, tweeted that while it is unclear what caused the outage, the source is likely an internal error rather than a cyberattack.

“Based on what we’re seeing and similar incidents at other providers in the past, we believe this is likely to be an internal error, not a cyber attack,” he tweeted.

Hours before the Rogers outage began, an apparent cyberattack took down the U.S. Congress website.

According to Fox News, the pro-Russia hacking group Killnet took credit for crashing the website around 10 p.m. Thursday evening.

Killnet is known for DoS or denial-of-service attacks, which often involve flooding a network server with traffic to block legitimate users’ access, according to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

State-backed Russian hackers have ramped up cyberattacks against allies of Ukraine in recent months, targeting over 100 governments, businesses, humanitarian groups and more in dozens of countries around the world, according to a new report released by Microsoft last month.