Canada Increasingly Being Targeted by Foreign Hackers

Global security leader Websense found that foreign companies are increasingly setting up virtual bases in Canada to drive corporate espionage attacks.

In its third Canadian Cybercrime Report Card, Websense said that malware hosting on Canadian websites increased 25 percent year-over-year. Furthermore, in the last three months, Canada claimed the number 10 position for all countries hosting malware.

“Canadian cybercriminal activity is quickly evolving and taking on more nefarious forms,” said Carl Leonard, senior manager of security research for Websense. “Hackers are moving away from the broad ‘spam everyone’ approach because it only yields cents on the click. They’ve set their sights on much more targeted attacks where social engineering of the actual user can turn into millions of dollars in potential criminal profit.”

Canadian websites are considered safe spaces online and those websites that host malware are not usually flagged by most security software, and this Leonard notes, makes it difficult to identify command and control servers, which hackers use to send instructions to their malware.

Leonard said ISPs should be better at monitoring malicious behaviour and increased legislation would help.

Canada now hosts the third largest volume of servers communicating with the type of highly sophisticated malware responsible for stealing valuable corporate data. That, Leonard says, is ahead of Korea, Germany, Russia and even China.

“Malware authors don’t do things that are predictable,” said Fiaaz Walji, Websense Canadian country manager. “They have more success with their malicious plots by disguising their transfers from a ‘trusted’ server in Canada, as opposed to Russia, China or other countries with established cybercriminal activity. Organizations need a unified solution that integrates web, data, email, mobile and cloud security to stop advanced data stealing attacks and secure IP better than their competitors.”

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