Cyber criminals may use new techniques, state sponsored threats to lure Canadians: agency

WATCH: The COVID-19 pandemic pushed people online more than ever before and as a result, the number of sophisticated cyber threats is at an all-time high. In its newly-released assessment, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security is outlining the top online dangers — and they involve some large targets. But as Dan Spector reports, the average person could also get hit at any time.

The federal cybersecurity centre says criminals who hold data for ransom are expected to use new techniques _ such as threatening a target’s partners or clients _ to increase their chances of receiving payment.

In its threat forecast for 2023-24, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security says cybercrime continues to be the online activity most likely to affect Canadians and their organizations.

The report says ransomware attacks, in which digital files are held hostage or encrypted until a fee is paid, are almost certainly the most disruptive form of cybercrime facing Canadians.

The centre says by threatening the business partners or clients of a victim, cybercriminals very likely anticipate that these organizations will increase pressure on the victim to pay the ransom.

The centre notes one cybercriminal group, which has targeted victims in Canada, is known to conduct denial-of-service attacks during payment negotiations, increasing the pressure.

The report also says the state-sponsored programs of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea pose the greatest strategic cyberthreats to Canada, including efforts against diaspora populations and activists in Canada.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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