Canada Has Become a Lightning Rod for Cyber Criminals, Government Warns

by Knowlton Thomas

Being the target of malicious cyber activity is always disconcerting. But the Public Safety Department has a new worry.

It is concerned that Canada is becoming a digital launching pad for cyber criminals—the new host nation for hackers to set up shop and scam the world with devious internet tricks. Canada could become the new Eastern Europe in that regard, the department worries.

“This may be shifting to more developed countries such as Canada,” read notes obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. “Plainly said, we may be moving from being mostly ‘targets’ of organized cyber-crime hosted in outside jurisdictions, to ‘hosts’ of online cyber-crime operations and activities.

Digital security company Websense earlier this year singled out Canada as a breeding ground for such activity. Our country ranked number two in the world, ahead of traditionally used nations like Russia and Egypt, for hosting phishing sites.

But we're not just becoming a popular phishing pond. Canadian-hosted bot networks have increased by 39% this year. And there are 239% more infectious Canadian websites on the internet now than last year. All-around, we've become a lightning rod for cyber criminal activity.

“Across the board, we’re seeing all types of malicious content coming out of the Great White North,” affirms Websense. “We still have not seen any big takedowns of malicious sites in Canada. In fact, malicious sites seem to stay up longer than in other countries.”

The government argues that because technology evolves so rapidly, "legal frameworks and investigative practices are challenged to keep pace with this evolution." But long can we afford to keep making excuses?

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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