A year ago, Peter Wellers received an email from a hacker claiming to be from the Canadian Cybercrime Centre, threatening to disclose the identities of people and companies connected to the Conservative Party.
The email also included a link to a phishing website, which offered the hacker access to information that could be used to compromise his computer.
The hacker promised to contact the Conservative party and to send him the data.
Wellers was alarmed.
“I did not even click the link and I did not respond to the email,” Wellers told CBC News.
“It was just a phoney email and that was it.”
That’s when the Conservative leader decided to take a closer look.
He contacted the hacker.
“The hacker said that he could get me all my information,” Weller said.
Weller and his office had already been notified that the hack was coming and they were on high alert for any breach of their computers.
But he was shocked to see the hacker’s real identity online.
“What is that about?” he asked.
“Who are these people?
Who are they going to get access to my personal information?”
Wellers said he received an alert from his office’s website warning that the hacker had access to sensitive personal information about his family.
“He said he was a Canadian citizen,” Wellings said.
“But he also said he had access and could do whatever he wanted to do to me.”
Wellers immediately called the hacker to confirm the information was legitimate.
“We’re looking into it and we are not going to comment on it,” Welles said.
That same day, Wellers sent an email to the hacker claiming his personal information was not available.
“If you have access to this data, please stop sending this phishing email,” he said.
The phishing page linked to a website containing personal information of well-known Canadian politicians.
“When you click on the link you’ll see the name of someone who is a member of the Conservative caucus, as well as the personal details of people in the Conservative family,” Wells said.
On Tuesday, Wells held a press conference at the Canadian Foreign Affairs Building in Ottawa.
He promised to investigate the phishing attack and call the hacker back.
“As soon as I have more information, I will share it with you,” Well said.
Stephen Harper is a Canadian MP for the riding of Trinity-Spadina.
(Chris Wattie/Reuters) Wellers believes the phishers are using the same tactic in other provinces, and he said that if it happens in Canada, it will be a major blow to his Conservative Party’s reputation.
“To see our national leader’s name in that kind of a situation is something I can’t understand,” Welling said.
A spokesman for the Conservative government said Wednesday that Wellers has asked the government to investigate.
“Our party has been and will continue to be a staunch supporter of privacy and security in all aspects of our work,” Jason MacDonald said in a statement.
“That includes security measures to protect sensitive data from hackers.”