The Office of the Secretary to the Governor, General Mary Simon, has confirmed that its internal network was breached by unauthorized access.

In a statement Thursday, the office said it is working with experts and “seeking further improvements to the network” as necessary and that the nature and extent of the breach is still being investigated.

The Canadian Center for Cybersecurity is involved in the investigation and the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General said it acted immediately to “strengthen its network.”

The center leads the Canadian government’s response to cybersecurity events and works to protect and defend cyber assets of value in the country.

While the center confirmed in a statement that it is working with the office in response to a recent cyber incident, it was unable to comment on specific details.

“Although this investigation is ongoing, we can assure you that we are working closely with OSGG to ensure that robust systems and tools are in place to monitor, detect and investigate potential threats and neutralize threats when they occur,” the center said.

Along with other governments and private sector organizations around the world, the Canadian government is subject to “ongoing and persistent cyber threats,” the center said.

The center added that cyber threats can stem from system or application vulnerabilities, as well as “deliberate, persistent and targeted attacks by external actors to gain access to information.”

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The bureau said that the personal information of “everyone who works and interacts” is a priority.

The privacy commissioner’s office was also informed about the breach.

The governor general’s office is investigating the internal network breach. #CDNPoli

Vito Pilieci, a spokesman for the privacy commissioner, said in an email Thursday that he has no jurisdiction over the governor-general’s office because it is not subject to the Privacy Act.

However, they “welcome the opportunity to interact with the Governor General’s office and offer any support and advice they request,” Pilieci said.

Ian McCowan became secretary to the governor general in February 2021.

This Canadian Press report was first published on December 2, 2021.

This story was produced with financial assistance from Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

– With files from Jim Bronskill.

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