Here's what happened:
Sources have confirmed, however, that the attackers successfully penetrated the computer systems at the federal government's two main economic nerve centres, the Finance Department and Treasury Board.
The hackers apparently managed to take control of computers in the offices of senior government executives as part of a scheme to steal the key passwords that unlock entire government data systems.
And this is what it is:
Organized crime is zeroing in on medium to large sized enterprises using a well honed attack that can penetrate most enterprises defenses. Called "spear phishing" it involves targeting one or two individuals within the enterprise and then sending them well crafted email with links or document attachments which then download malware into the enterprise. The number of attacks is rising dramatically.
The method of attack usually uses MS Office documents but can also involve links to fake websites that look real. One attack focussed on the new executive of a large enterprise for whom a press release had been written.
If so, you would think somebody ought to get fired.