Malicious Cyber Activity Exploiting High Profile News Events

Number: AL14-037
Date: 24 October 2014


The purpose of this Alert is to bring attention to campaigns that distribute malware and other malicious activities exploiting public interest in high profile news events.


CCIRC has observed continued bouts of malicious cyber activity coinciding with significant events, both in Canada and abroad. Malicious actors take advantage of significant news stories, international sporting events, conferences, and holidays to compromise users through phishing campaigns, search engine optimization poisoning, or website spoofing. These techniques are used to spread malware which can be used to steal financial and personal information from users, exfiltrate data or capture victims’ computers in a botnet.

Suggested action

CCIRC recommends that organizations employ the following mitigation measures for cyber activity related to high profile events:


Note to Readers

In support of Public Safety's mission to build a safe and resilient Canada, CCIRC's mandate is to help ensure the security and resilience of the vital non-federal government cyber systems that underpin Canada's national security, public safety and economic prosperity. As Canada's computer security incident response team, CCIRC is Canada's national coordination centre for the prevention and mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from cyber incidents on non-federal government systems. It does this by providing authoritative advice and support, and coordinating information sharing and incident response.

Please note, CCIRC PGP key has recently been updated.

For general information, please contact Public Safety Canada's Public Affairs division at:

Telephone: 613-944-4875 or 1-800-830-3118
Fax: 613-998-9589

Date modified: