Thursday, September 09, 2010

Why Cyber Crimes are Thriving in Canada and Profitable

It is no secret.  Cyber crimes are growing in most countries.  In 2009, cyber crime in America grew 22%.  According to the US Treasury Department, Cyber Crime Has Surpassed Illegal Drug Trafficking as a criminal money-maker.   The trend in Canada is unknown but I would bet it follows the same growth pattern.  Statistics Canada, where my tax dollars go to fund this type of research, seems incapable of making any report on cyber crime since 2002 available.  While not publicly available, I saw a report yesterday during an ITAC call that showed reported incidents increased to over 200,000 incidents per month!  That is reported.  Now imagine the ones that are unreported.

I suspect the crime incident numbers are much higher due to our total lack of infrastructure to deal with cyber crimes.  While this seems like a brash statement to make, I make it from practical experience.  Earlier this year I found myself as the intended victim of a cyber crime.  I quickly realized what was happening and collected all the evidence that any prosecutor would require to punish the scammers.  I had a phone number I could call them at, an internet address, IP address, saved emails and recorded telephone conversations.  I tried to report it.  Guess what???  Not one single agency in Canada was willing to take any action against the criminals.  Vancouver City Police said not their concern, call the RCMP. RCMP Fraud department and various other departments reacted with a belief that PhoneBusters was properly equipped to handle this.  Upon contacting PhoneBusters, I quickly realized they only take reports.  Again, not one single agency would lift a finger to go after the criminals.

But hey - don't take my word for it.  Consider this:

Scenario: Imagine you just found out that your IT systems are being scanned and attacked right now and you have information about exactly  who and where the attack initiates from.  You find out that it is a criminal group who is responsible for other crimes and they are not relenting.   What do you do?

Exercise:  Try to find any authority in Canada (Police, CSIS, phone busters, etc.) who will actively take the case and go after the attacker (prosecute, arrest, stop, etc.).  Call the local police, RCMP, etc. on the phone, explain the scenario above and ask them to get involved and do something.

Reality:  You will not find one single organization that is willing to do anything.  They all refer you to someone else who at most will take a report and do nothing.

This is very sad and is why the crimes are growing.  What we need is a rapid response team who will actually be available to do something.  Otherwise, Canadians and Canadian companies are going to only be victims while the bad guys make $ millions.

In the meantime, criminals have a free run on Canadians and can basically do what they want for fun and profit.

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1 comment:

  1. Here is a great example of another SCAM. A company placed an automated call to me today from phone number (920) 999 2928. The recorded voice told me that because I was an Air Canada customer I was eligible for a gift from them. It was your basic vacation scam (they typically want a credit card number to bilk your card for $$ and you get nothing in return). So here we are. I have the physical number where anyone can cal them back. The police, Phonebusters, other law enforcement agencies won't lift a finger to do anything. Once again, the cyber criminals are free to scam people without fear of prosecution because the Government of Canada is not interested in protecting their citizens. No one cares!!!



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