The breach at Canada's foremost scientific research agency, a government agency headquartered in Ottawa, was found by Communications Security Establishment Canada, the country's electronic spy agency.
CSEC "detected and confirmed a cyber-intrusion on the information technology infrastructure of the National Research Council of Canada by a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor. We have no evidence that data compromises have occurred on the broader Government of Canada network," the government's Chief Information Officer, Corrine Charette, said Tuesday.
She added the council's computers have been isolated from the more extensive network of government computers.
Past targets of Chinese hackers in Canada have included legislative offices on Ottawa's Parliament Hill, the federal Finance Department and the Treasury Board.