back to article Canada goosed as attackers shutter hospitals and China deepfakes its politicians

Cybercriminals have Canada in the crosshairs, with five Ontario hospitals and a fresh Spamoflague disinformation campaign targeting "dozens" of Canadian government officials, including the PM. The cyberattack against five southern Ontario hospitals has shut down IT systems, forcing them to cancel patient appointments over "the …

  1. RM Myers

    "...trolls have moved into pretty convincing deepfake... "

    Am I the only one who finds this use of "pretty" to be pretty annoying, or is this just another example of why someone with a background in math and IT should refrain from critiquing the language skills of professional writers?

    1. Strong as Taishan Mountains

      Re: "...trolls have moved into pretty convincing deepfake... "

      It is, I suspect, a symptom of the USian focus. Recent copy here tends to be hyperbolic, to the extent that meaning becomes stripped from adjectives, like "pretty".

      1. t245t

        A symptom of USian focused adjectives stripped of meaning?

        A tough crowd Jessica. Here's a partial transcript in the style of Captain Charles Ryder :)

        «In the realm of cyberspace's intricate labyrinth, malevolent forces have Canada squarely in their sights, akin to a well-aimed arrow poised to strike its target. The striking narrative unfurls within the vast expanse of the digital wilderness, where five esteemed Ontario hospitals find themselves ensnared in the perilous web of cyber malfeasance. Concurrently, a devious disinformation campaign, christened the "Spamoflague," stealthily infiltrates the virtual sanctum, setting its sights on a constellation of Canadian government officials, including none other than the Prime Minister.

        The unfolding digital offensive against the quintet of southern Ontario hospitals precipitates a cascade of turmoil. These vital institutions, serving as bastions of health and well-being, have seen their very lifeblood, the information technology systems, silenced by the cunning cyber adversaries. As a result, they are compelled to regrettably annul numerous patient appointments, casting a shadow over the prospects of healthcare delivery for the imminent "days to come." Service provider TransForm, charged with upholding the integrity of this critical infrastructure, has been thrust into a frenzied investigation. It remains a pivotal endeavor to ascertain if the malefactors have, in their relentless quest, breached the hallowed citadels safeguarding patient data. An indomitable cloud of uncertainty looms, as the verdict on this matter is yet to be solemnly pronounced.

        A mere blink in the digital annals of time is all it took for TransForm to broadcast an urgent missive to the world, alerting one and all to the critical systems outage experienced by its member hospitals and the esteemed Windsor-Essex Hospice. A sobering proclamation, it was, replete with the specter of disrupted email communication and the inevitable impact on patient care. Indeed, the very rhythm of the hospitals' daily operations had been disoriented, and the ramifications reverberated through the portals of their websites, each adorned with an identical message of disconcerting import.

        In this epoch of digitization, where deception and authenticity have learned to dance a dangerous waltz, the peril takes on a deeper resonance. The malevolent underbelly of cyberspace has not only set its sights on the fortresses of healthcare but now also encroaches upon the realm of veracity itself, employing the insidious art of deepfake technology to create counterfeit news videos of unsettling realism. The narrative of deceit and manipulation takes an even more ominous form, leaving one to ponder the incalculable uncertainties that the digital age has ushered in.»

      2. TheWeetabix

        Re: "...trolls have moved into pretty convincing deepfake... "

        Hyperbolic, and using words of less than seven letters, it appears. Also in line with US educational practices.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "...trolls have moved into pretty convincing deepfake... "

      You'll find the usage embedded in those online bastions of US language, the University of Cambridge dictionary, the Collins English dictionary, and no doubt, if I could bother walking across the room for my 1950ish Pocket Oxford, in there too.

      And then in the Oxford edition of Fowler, the introduction quotes a 1911 letter from Fowler to his publishers:

      "Not but what we may be of some use to the foreigner who knows English pretty well"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm just happy

    We've been noticed !

  3. Bebu Silver badge

    The Blackboard in the background is a bit of a contrast :)

    I know SFA about CA politics/politicians but I a pretty sure Trudeau isn't exactly the full bottle on statistical thermodynamics (or whatever the math on the blackboard is.)

    Most politician couldn't balance their cheque book...

    1. JoeCool Bronze badge

      Re: The Blackboard in the background is a bit of a contrast :)

      Too Lazy to use wikipedia ? He taught highschool / secondary math.

      Nonetheless, I'd like to know the attribution for that photo - is it from the deepfake, or from the Reg's trove of trollish pix ?

  4. Huw L-D

    Oh! CANADA!!!!

    See title :D

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignoring the commentards, something serious happened

    Surgery delayed, ...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's an easy way around deep fakes if your a politician.

    It's so effective that Rishi Sunak Et. al. are implementing it.

    Say things to inflammatory that controversy around you is in such fervour that there is nothing the trolls can add that will make you look worse.

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