Ottawa police website overwhelmed in denial of service attack

The City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police Service and Supreme Court of Canada say no data was lost or breached after their websites were taken offline over the weekend.

Chief says force won't put their website back online 'until we're confident that it will remain up'

Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau says officers are investigating cyber attacks on the police and City of Ottawa websites. (CBC)

The City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police Service and Supreme Court of Canada say no data was lost or breached after their websites were taken offline over the weekend.

The city's website first went down on Friday evening for about an hour, and instead displayed the site of a hacker that named an Ottawa police officer.

Since then, other sites have been intermittently affected. They include the websites for the Toronto Police Service, Ottawa Police Service and Supreme Court of Canada.

Someone who claimed to be working for the city contacted the city's internet provider on Friday, said Mayor Jim Watson on Monday. That person asked the provider to redirect the site to the hacker's page.

'We're taking every step we can,' mayor says

Mayor Jim Watson says police and the city are taking the hacking incidents seriously. (CBC)
"My understanding was that a service provider was contacted by someone claiming to be working for the City of Ottawa, redirected the website, and you saw that website with the dancing banana," Watson told reporters.

"And we're taking every step we can to make sure that it doesn't breach our database, because there's obviously a lot of personal information in the data that we have.

"We're going to leave it to the police and our IT specialists to do what they can to further secure our site to make sure that these things don't happen again," Watson said.

The mayor also said that in the long term, staff will look at what other safety and security measures to put in place "so we don't see these breaches again."

Ottawa police website overwhelmed in attack, chief says

Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau said the police force's website was the target of a denial of service attack on Saturday.

"What that does is it causes our system to be overwhelmed and then we have to shut it down," Bordeleau said Monday night.

"We have chosen not to put our service's website online until we're confident that it will remain up," he added.

No police data was breached, Bordeleau said, and their network remains secure.

Hackers have said the attacks are the result of an Ottawa police investigation into a teenager accused of faking emergencies across North America using his computer. The hackers have said police are refusing to acknowledge evidence the hackers claim to have that allegedly proves the teen's innocence.

When asked about that claim on Monday, Bordeleau said police are confident in their case.

"We're very confident in that case that we have prepared to present to the courts. But other than that we're not going to comment on the actual ongoing investigation that's taking place right now," Bordeleau said.

Supreme Court took its own site down

In an emailed statement earlier Monday, the Supreme Court said its website was not hacked and that it took its own website offline on the weekend as a precaution.

"The court temporarily took its network offline as a precaution. The court continues to take appropriate measures to protect its network," the statement reads.

The City of Ottawa also released a statement Monday on the situation.

"There were no security breaches or loss of resident or city data. City services have not been affected and are operating normally," the statement reads.

The city's website went offline again later Monday afternoon, after its statement was issued.