Ottawa boosts cybersecurity spending to $155 million by 2017

The federal government is putting more money into cybersecurity.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday Ottawa will spend $155 million over the next five years through the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, up from the $90 million over five years promised in 2010. The feds also continue to commit $18 million per year specifically to battling threats targeting federal government IT networks.

Related Story: Canada falls in middle of cybersecurity pack

A “denial of service” attack disabled the parliamentary Web site earlier this year, according to our source article from the Montreal Gazette. And hackers from China cracked into networks at Treasury Board and Finance in 2011.

Suspicious timing? The auditor-general will release a report on federal spending soon, with a special emphasis on cybersecurity.

Experts quoted in the Gazette suggested today’s funding announcement may be the government’s way of trying to head off criticism in next week’s auditor-general’s report into federal spending, which will reportedly devote an entire section to how well Ottawa works with other public and private stakeholders to protect key IT infrastructure against cyber attacks.

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