Canadian IP address tied to U.S. Russian hack

(CNN) – The FBI and Homeland Security released a report December 29th, containing a “watchlist” of nearly 900 IP addresses they claim were targeted by Russian malicious cyber activity.

Among them, six IP addresses in Canada, one of them linked to Ontario’s hydro system.  A CTV news investigation determined that IP address was set up back in 1990, by what was then known as Ontario hydro.

Now it belongs to Hydro One, the company that operates the vast network of power lines and hydro towers.

Hydro one and four other Ontario hydro companies, got a call from the RCMP December 29th, the same day the FBI released its report, warning they may have been targets of the Russian cyber offensive.

The FBI and Homeland Security accused the Russian government of directing cyber hacks against the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.  Russia denies any involvement.”

According to intelligence, a link from the hydro one IP address has been identified as malicious by online scanners, and could possibly contain code that can silently download other malicious software or create a back door into a system.

Hydro one’s chief security officer says “we have been made aware of this issue and at the is time we can confirm that the address in question in *not an active IP active address at hydro one nor is it connected to the power system. There is no reason to believe our power system has been compromised.”

CTV tech analyst, Carmi Levy, says cyber-attacks are a growing threat to governments, and corporations, “It’s safe to call this a wake-up call simply because up until now, we might have assumed that these systems were absolutely invulnerable to this kind of thing. But what we’re seeing here suggests that nothing is invulnerable. And even an entity that has been previously seen as invulnerable is absolutely not.”

There are still questions as to when the IP address went inactive and why.  Hydro One says it takes its responsibility to combat cyber threats very seriously.