Cyber Threats To Canada's Democratic Process

Introduction

The recent cyber threat activity against political institutions and personal communications of politicians around the world has raised concerns about the cybersecurity of the democratic process in Canada. In this document we assess the cyber threats facing Canada’s democratic process.

To better understand the threat environment, CSE examined cyber threat activity against democratic processes, both in Canada and around the world, over the past ten years. We identify how key aspects of the democratic process (i.e. elections, political parties and politicians, and the media) are vulnerable to cyber threat activity and influence operations. We consider the democratic process at the federal, provincial/ territorial, and municipal levels of government in Canada. We introduce some common cyber capabilities and how Canada’s adversaries could use these capabilities to influence the democratic process. We then describe the different types of adversaries that could use these cyber capabilities and what the threat is to Canada.

Finally, by combining our knowledge of recent history and our understanding of current trends in cyber capabilities and Canada’s adversaries, we assess how the cyber threats to Canada’s democratic process are likely to evolve.