Canadian Cyber Crime on the Rise

Canada has long enjoyed a reputation as being a safe and clean place to do business online because of its relatively low incidence of cyber crime. Yet according to CBC News that’s no longer the case. CBC reported on May 9, 2012 that the number of cyber attacks originating from Canadian hosted websites has risen sharply. The source of their story was a recent report from Websense Inc., a San Diego firm specializing in Internet security.

Among the more interesting observations made by CBC is the fact that Canada now ranks second only to the United States in the number of phishing sites being hosted. That’s surprising to many who assume Eastern European countries would be at the top of the list.

“Canada ranks second worldwide for hosted phishing sites — ahead of well known offenders like Egypt and Russia — and hosts 170 per cent more phishing sites than during the same time period last year,” CBC News reported. “Only the U.S. is worse.”

According to Websense director of security research Patrik Runald, Eastern European countries do have a history of being home to cyber criminals. But in recent years criminals have turned to countries in the West, particularly the US, Canada, and France, because their good reputations help shield illegal activities. They provide a great market for phishing operations which rely on creating fake websites to fool Internet use into believing they are conducting business with legitimate entities.

To combat the problem Runald says it will require a joint effort by Internet providers, their customers, and companies that do business online. If all three take a proactive approach to be careful about online security and data protection cyber criminals will be less successful in their efforts across the board.

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