May 9, 2011

The Next Hotbed of Cybercrime Activity is... Canada?!?

Patrik Runald

Cybercriminals are on the move again. And, this time, Canada is the prime target. IP addresses in China and Eastern Europe are highly scrutinized and undergoing intense evaluation. So hackers are on a quest to move their networks to countries, like Canada, that have better cyber reputations. 

It's a little surprising to me as well. Previously, Canada was a place of great beer and hockey (next year, Habs!). But Websense recently conducted an analysis of Canada’s cyber security risk profile, and all trends pointed to Canada as the new launchpad for cybercriminals. For example:

  • Jump in Hosted Phishing Sites - Canada saw a huge increase in the number of servers hosting phishing sites, jumping 319 percent in the last year. This tremendous increase over the last 12 months is second only to Egypt in terms of the growth of sites hosting crimeware.                            
  • Increase in Bot Networks – Cybercriminals are moving their command and control centers to safer grounds. In the past eight months, Canada saw a 53 percent increase in bot networks. In fact, Canada scored the second highest for hosting bot networks, when compared to the U.S., France, Germany and China.   
  • Malicious Websites – We’re seeing a trend of malicious websites decline across the board. However, Canada’s decline is tremendously slower, when compared to the countries listed above.
  • Overall Increase in Cybercrime – In Websense’s most recent Threat Report, Canada was #13 in the world for hosting cybercrime. Now they have jumped to #6 in the world in 2011. And, this number continues to rise.

More malicious content is being hosted in Canada than ever before. How will the public and private sector protect Canada? And, will the Canadian government be able to take down major Internet crime networks - similar to when the US brought down Rustock and Coreflood? 

Here's a quick peek at the top countries hosting phishing sites for the first part of this year. You can clearly see that Canada now holds the number two position for hosting this type of crimeware. 

So, the question I have for you folks - is this surprising to you? Why or why not? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.


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