Cyber Security/Protection

OFSI tackling interference

Foreign interference and national-security issues in Canada’s banking and insurance sectors are in the sights of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. “Over the two years that I’ve been Superintendent, geopolitical risk and its offshoots have increased in significance,” says Peter Routledge. “There’s a possibility that that intensity metastasizes over into the financial system, and we want our institutions ready to adapt.” [node:read-more:link]

Business wants better security

The Business Council of Canada wants the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to have legislated authority power to work more closely with foreign-targetted companies. In a 19-page report today, the lobby group of senior corporate executives and entrepreneurs says that “for decades now, successive Canadian governments have overlooked, taken for granted, or simply ignored the principle that economic security is national security.” [node:read-more:link]

China restricts iPhones

In the latest step to reduce reliance on foreign technology and potentially enhance cybersecurity, China has ordered officials in central government agencies not to use Apple iPhones or other foreign-branded devices in the workplace. China is one of Apple’s largest single markets, accounting for some 19% of the company’s revenues. [node:read-more:link]

Malware network taken down

The U.S. FBI and its European partners infiltrated and shut down a major global malware network used for more than 15 years to commit a gamut of online crimes. Some 40 ransomware attacks in one 18-month period had netted the Qakbot controllers approximately US$58 million. [node:read-more:link]

Cyberthreat escalating

The Communications Security Establishment has singled out Russia and Iran as cybercrime safe havens where criminals can operate with impunity against foreign targets. It says in a new report today that this poses a threat to Canada’s national security and economic prosperity over the next two years. [node:read-more:link]

New Zealand outlines priorities

Three defence and national security documents released by New Zealand Defence Minister Andrew Little outline the general challenges facing his country as well as military principles and ways to improve the forces. [node:read-more:link]

Global Affairs criticized by NSICOP

The National Security & Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians has “identified significant weaknesses” in Global Affairs Canada’s governance, especially on intelligence activities. NSICOP said July 19 that while GAC has appropriate consultation structures in place with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment, its relations with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are “largely informal.” [node:read-more:link]

Auditing software open to attack

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and U.S. agencies have warned key industries about increasing malware attacks through auditing software developed by Texas-based Netwrix and used by the financial, insurance, healthcare and other sectors. [node:read-more:link]

Government cybersecurity ineffectual?

The Communications Security Establishment says that despite a warning last year by the National Security & Intelligence Committee of Parliament­arians, less than half of Crown corporations and smaller departments and agencies are adequately protected against state-sponsored attacks. “Since March 2020, the number […] signed up for our sensors has grown from 12 to 37 (out of 86),” the CSE says, underscoring the broader risk to the government as a whole. [node:read-more:link]

The Need for Zero Trust Protection

Is your organization prepared and ­protected against IT security risks? Not surprisingly, Zero Trust has risen in prominence as a means to protect an organization’s data and people – especially as remote work and cloud-based services become the norm. [node:read-more:link]

Cybersecurity found lacking

A 2021 ransomware attack on Newfoundland & Labrador’s health-care IT systems was “almost an inevitability,” says Sean Murray, research director for the province’s information and privacy commissioner. “Sometimes mistakes happen and accidents happen (but) in our estimation, that is not what happened,” he said today. “It was pretty clear that we did not have in this province appropriate cybersecurity measures in place […] and that was the major contributor.” [node:read-more:link]

Cyberattacks a growing concern

The latest cybersecurity survey by Texas-based SolarWinds shows that foreign governments’ activities are the top concern for IT professionals at all levels of government in the U.S. Some 60 per cent of respondents ranked them as one of the greatest threats in 2023 compared with 41 per cent two years earlier. “More and more nation states use the cyber landscape to execute aggressive espionage campaigns, as well as other cyberattacks like ransomware and spyware,” says SolarWinds Vice-President Brandon Shopp. [node:read-more:link]

CSE reports increased cyber threat

There has been a “notable” increase in cyber threat activity by Russia-aligned actors, the Communications Security Establishment reported April 13. “These are attention-grabbing, but do not mean the website has been hacked or that any information has been compromised,” said Sami Khoury, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security within the CSE. [node:read-more:link]

Italy bans ChatGPT for now

The Italian National Authority for Personal Data Protection today ordered an immediate but temporary ban on access to the increasingly popular ChatGPT application. It said that the chatbot “suffered a data breach on March 20 concerning users’ conversations and payment information of subscribers.” The agency criticized the application’s owner, San Francisco-based OpenAI, for not giving users information on how their data is collected. The European police agency warned earlier this week that criminals were ready to take advantage of chatbots to commit fraud and other cybercrimes. [node:read-more:link]

PM sets out Johnston’s mandate

Former Governor-General David Johnston, tasked with looking into foreign interference in Canadian politics, has been promised “complete access” by the Prime Minister. While he has two months to decide whether a public inquiry is warranted, Johnston’s mandate letter gives him more time to dig into the “extent and impact of foreign interference”, to determine “what the government did to defend Canada”, and how it could be improved. [node:read-more:link]


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