According to United Conservative Party succession candidate Leela Aheer, purchases were made and “disgusting” sexual sites were viewed on her behalf.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is investigating the hacking of the Facebook accounts of United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership candidate Leela Aheer.
First it was my political page, then [Tuesday] morning I woke up to find that my personal Facebook page had also been hacked, a- she said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“My account has been controlled by people who want to silence my voice and derail my campaign. It was targeted.
— PCU leadership candidate Leela Aheer
She believes the hackers targeted her because she speaks out against intolerance and bigotry.
Leela Aheer, who is also United Conservative MP for Chestermere-Strathmore, tweeted that purchases were made and disgusting sexual sites were viewed on her behalf.
The UCP leadership candidate has said she will not give up on the campaign just yet.
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Candidate Danielle Smith also claims she was hacked after fake recordings of someone claiming to be part of [her] campaign were posted on Twitter.
According to Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary, there are disturbing similarities between the two cases.
I think it's interesting to note that, in both cases they are women and a woman of color in Aheer's case, she said.
According to the political scientist, Leela Aheer's hack appears to have been motivated by her standing up against racism and some of the extreme elements of conservatism, more than to harm her chances of winning.
She adds that events could harm the PCU leadership race.
“It reinforces the image of a less tolerant, more bigoted, narrow-minded Alberta, whatever you call it. These types of stereotypes are reinforced to the extent that they attract national attention.
— Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary
For her part, Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary, believes that other candidates and party authority figures should have spoken out.
Why is it so hard to denounce this? I don't know, he said. Silence is synonymous with complicity. If we don't condemn something that is so obvious, we have to ask ourselves why.
The Alberta RCMP confirms that an investigation is underway, but cannot not comment on the case at this time.
Radio-Canada could not confirm the reasons for the hacking of the two candidates, nor whether they were targeted directly because of their political role.
According to Jacques Sauvé, cybersecurity consultant for the firm Trilogiam, the hacking of politicians' accounts is a frequent phenomenon.
He specifies that anyone can be a victim of hacking, but that politicians are more likely to be.
This is a tactic that is used very often, unfortunately. Again, it's laughing at the world. It's giving them a bad name online, things like that, he explains.
Jacques Sauvé says politicians need to be extremely vigilant about the risks of account takeovers, especially in the middle of a campaign.
“These people should be really careful and use all best practices to protect their ID and prevent this kind of thing from happening. »
— Jacques Sauvé, cybersecurity consultant, Trilogiam
In particular, he advises learning to use complex and different passwords for each service used online, using a password manager. This is very important, he explains.
Password managers also make it easy to secure an account with multi-factor authentication. It is normally said that enabling multi-factor authentication could decrease the risk of an identifier breach by 99%.
With information from La Presse Canadian