Archive for Canada

The Canadian Government Has Failed Canadians By Not Taking The Potential Threat That Huawei Is Seriously

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 20, 2018 by itnerd

Chinese company Huawei has been in the news along with Chinese company ZTE because of the potential of both companies being a national security threat. The United States has taken a really hard line against both companies. But so far, the Canadian Government hasn’t done or said much of anything against either company. This despite US lawmakers raising this as an issue with the Canadian Government.

So let’s walk through this. Are these companies threats to Canada? I can’t answer that. But the evidence is there that suggests that they might be. And that evidence comes from people who should be in the know. Thus if I were the Canadian Government, I would at least look at the evidence to see if there’s anything there. And if there is, I’d take immediate action. But saying nothing and doing nothing is not an option. At least not in this day and age because not only is this a potential threat to Canada, but a threat to our allies as well. The Canadian Government has a responsibility to protect Canadians from these threats. At the moment it doesn’t seem like they’re interested in doing so. Thus they’ve failed Canadians on this front.

I for one hope they wake up and take this issue seriously before it’s too late.


BMO and CIBC-owned Simplii Financial Pwned…. Tens Of Thousands Of Customers At Risk

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 29, 2018 by itnerd

The CBC is reporting that CIBC-owned Simplii Financial has warned on Monday morning that hackers had accessed the personal and account information of more than 40,000 of the bank’s customers. Then Bank of Montreal revealed that hackers had stolen data on up to 50,000 of the bank’s customers.

That’s not good. but it is actually worse than that.

The hackers have now gone to the media with threats of leaking the data that they stole when the banks apparently did not pay up a $1 million ransom for the data. CBC managed to take some data that the hackers served up to them and confirmed that it is real. So as a result, all these customers are now under threat of being pwned in epic fashion. This is not good to say the least that two banks in Canada have been pwned like this. These banks have a lot of explaining to do. And you have to wonder if other banks can be pwned like this.


Are Canadian Carriers Sharing Location Data With LocationSmart?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 19, 2018 by itnerd

You might recall that I brought you a story about LocationSmart yesterday and the fact that not only four US carriers were sharing data with them, but they had a bug that allowed anyone to see any cell phone’s location. Well it seems that the “Big Three” cell phone carriers in Canada, as in Rogers, Bell, and Telus may be sharing data with this company according to Global News:

Privacy officials in Canada plan to look into reports over the past week that Canadian telecom companies share location data on subscribers with third-parties, a practice that, in at least one case, appears to have allowed similar data on Americans to be accessed by police without a warrant.

Bell, Rogers and Telus were named in an article on, a technology website owned by a subsidiary of CBS Corp., as among the North American telecom companies selling real-time location data on subscribers to a company called LocationSmart.

If that’s true, then that’s very troubling. I expect better from the “Big Three” carriers in Canada. I would expect that all of the big three to explain whatever relationship that they have with this company and do it now. Because all three of these companies aren’t exactly loved by the public. And this isn’t going to help their public image.


CRTC Steps In To Fix Emergency Alert System

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 16, 2018 by itnerd

According to the Financial Post, the CRTC is working with all of its partners to fix the technical errors that caused the test emergency alerts to be inconsistently distributed to Canadians. Which is a good thing as the rollout of this system can best be described as a hot mess as evidenced by everything in this post on the subject. The fact that a real alert earlier this week which was an Amber Alert sparked complaints highlights the fact that action needs to be taken immediately to fix this.

Now I have been very critical of the CRTC over the years. But if they can fix this and give Canadians the alert system they need and deserve, I’ll all for it.

Emergency Alert System Tests In Canada Are A #Fail

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 10, 2018 by itnerd

All this week, different parts of Canada have been running tests of the new Alert Ready emergency alert system that is supposed to alert you of anything from an Amber Alert (a missing child) to natural disasters. Alerts are supposed to show up on radio, TV, and as a notification on your phone, as was the case with your truly:

The problem is that I was one of the lucky ones apparently. Some people didn’t get the alert while the person next to them did. Here are some examples:

And in the case of anyone in Quebec, nobody got the alert. Though that was due to an employee screw up. But what is clear is that this system which is supposed to keep the public safe doesn’t work. Thus I suspect that there will be a lot of explaining to do by those who put this together, and likely more tests. I for one hope that they get this sorted quickly as emergencies don’t wait until your systems are perfect before they hit you.

Charges Against Nova Scotia Teen Who Pwned FOI Requests Website Dropped

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 9, 2018 by itnerd

It appears that there is common sense in the world as news is filtering out that a teen in Nova Scotia who was arrested last month for figuring out how to mass download freedom of information requests, effectively pwning the site, have been dropped:

Halifax Regional Police say they won’t be charging a 19-year-old man arrested last month for downloading files from Nova Scotia’s freedom-of-information portal.

Spokesperson Neera Ritcey said in an email Monday that after a thorough investigation, police determined there were no grounds to lay a charge of unauthorized use of a computer against the teen.

Now that is the correct outcome as this teen didn’t have any ill will. He was just curious. Hopefully he learns from this and is a bit more circumspect going forward. The only downside to all of this is that the Nova Scotia government has to notify people that their data has been improperly accessed. But I say that they wouldn’t have to do that if the data was properly secured in the first place.

Tech Conferences Move North To Toronto Because Of Trump Turmoil

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 3, 2018 by itnerd

The Collision Conference, one of North America’s most influential technology gatherings, tweeted this on Tuesday:

Collision, which typically boasts 25,000 attendees, will be coming to Toronto Canada in 2019. And it will be staying for another 2 years past that. The video with PM Justin Trudeau clearly takes some thinly veiled shots at the US and the Trump administration. Something that won’t go unnoticed by said administration. And the thing is that Collision is not alone in coming north. At least two other major technology conferences have recently made the decision to relocate to Canada. They are lured in part by Toronto’s burgeoning tech sector, but also driven by travel restrictions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump. Policies that have left organizers scrambling to accommodate those who can’t visit the United States. That’s going to cost the US some cash, which will also likely not go unnoticed. 

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I love the fact that these people are coming here as it will put Canada on the map and we’ll make some money. But at the same time, I fear what a reactionary and anything but a stable genius will do when this hits his desk. That could be a problem. But in the meantime, welcome to Canada all those who come here for these conferences.