(Washington) The White House says it is in “very high levels” of contact with allies and relevant partners after sensitive U.S. intelligence about Russia’s war in Ukraine leaked.

However, this leak probably affects Canada. The leaked documents describe allegations by Russian-backed hackers, which La Presse Canadienne has not independently verified. These hackers allege in the documents that they managed to gain access to natural gas infrastructure in Canada.

National Security Council White House spokesman John Kirby said the leak file was now under criminal investigation, but he could not say whether the leak had been fully contained.

Federal officials in Ottawa acknowledged on Monday that Canada participated in briefings, but the Communications Security Establishment did not provide details.

The report does not name a specific company, but says the hackers were instructed by a Russian intelligence officer to maintain access to the computer network and “await further instructions.”

Kirby said the Department of Defense and Justice are currently conducting separate investigations into the leak to determine its national security implications and find those responsible.

“In order to protect this country every day like we do, one of the things we have to protect is information,” Kirby said Monday. We will keep relevant allies and partners as informed as possible,” he added.

One of the documents is a chart that depicted Russian and Ukrainian troop casualties, with the estimate of Russian dead significantly lower than what the Pentagon has publicly released; which causes Mr. Kirby to say that the document has been doctored.

According to a New York Times article, this hacking incident could be an example of how Russia plans to retaliate beyond Ukraine’s borders if the war drags on.

According to Jamil Jaffer of the National Security Institute at George Mason University in Virginia, gaining access to a network is a common tactic of Russian hackers.

The problem is not so much with the content of the leaked documents, he added, but with the fact that the hackers can thus know what method the intelligence services are using to communicate.

Experts say the documents circulated for months on the internet, including in chat rooms and on the Discord platform, before the leak was discovered.

“We don’t know what else might be out there,” Kirby said. One of the things we need to protect is not just the information itself, but how we glean that information. So I think you can understand why everyone is taking this particular set of disclosures very, very seriously. »

In Canada, the Communications Security Establishment has expressed concern about these potential disruptions to critical infrastructure.