Canada becoming cybercrime haven

By Christian Ericssen
May 10, 2011
Hackers moving to Canada
Hackers moving to Canada -CC
An American Internet security company called Websense has recently found that Canada has a poor reputation when it comes to online crime, especially compared to the United States which has experienced recent crackdowns and passed legislation against online miscreants.

A senior security researcher at the firm said that “the United States is still No. 1 but I believe the bad guys are slowly shifting from the U.S. to Canada because of some of the recent high-profile take downs by federal authorities,” forcing criminals to move north. The trend also shows criminals moving from hosting based in Eastern Europe and China moving their virtual operations to Canada.

The company says that Canada now ranks as the 6th most cybercrime-ridden country compared to the 13th in 2010. Other countries which rank higher than Canada are France, Russia, Germany and China while the United States remains 1st.

Canada is also now the 2nd most likely country to be hosting phishing sites.

“That doesn't mean the bad guys are in Canada, it doesn't mean the affected users are in Canada, but it means the Canadian infrastructure is being used to attack against someone in the world,” said Patrik Runald in a press interview.

Canadian web sites are more prone to hosting malware as opposed to sites hosted out of smaller European countries which take more care as to not become infected or spread infections. Canada has effectively become a haven for malware sites.

Malware sites hosted in Canada can range from “Phishing” sites to botnets. Phishing is a term used to define web sites trying to collect personal or sensitive data like banking records while botnets are infected computer systems acting as drones for hosting attacks by the network operator. Unfortunately, the actual owner of the affected computer systems and servers have no idea their resources are being used in such malicious fashions.

Another thing to point out is that rented or managed servers rarely come preinstalled with 'server hardening', a method used to close up any current or potential future security threats.

Alarming is the fact that there have been very little busts and none of them high-profile here in Canada while the US has constantly been targeting harmful web sites and hackers.

Consumers are reminded to keep an eye out for suspicious file attachments in email and to keep a good antivirus program running, if you're not running one, try installing avast! free anti-virus, provided free from this site.