Cybercrime in Canada

CYBERCRIME IS ANTICIPATED TO BECOME THE MOST FREQUENT SOURCE OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IN THE COMING YEAR

Introduction

Cybercrime is a global challenge which has increased in recent years, and it is anticipated to rise and take the lead above all other crimes in the world. It is a new form of technology which people had not expected through resources and legal framework thus posing a significant challenge in the whole world. The anticipated increase in cybercrimes is as a result of the projected growth in technology as well as an increase in technological intelligence. Lack of knowledge on internet scams and other security issues are making people venerable. However, vulnerability is also affecting different national governments. Different states and nations are taking the advantage to fight against each other through the internet. As a result, governments have taken the initiative to reduce their exposure to all forms of cyber crimes through their criminal justice systems. This article seeks to analyze how Canada and its citizens are exposed to cybercrimes and the measures they have taken through the criminal justice system to protect themselves.

The Vulnerability of Canada and Canadians to Cybercrime

One way in which Canadian people and Canada are vulnerable to cybercrime is through lack of knowledge on cybersecurity and cybercrime itself.  According to the First Canadian Internet Security Survey conducted in 2017, around 75 percent of all businesses in Canada without knowledge disclosed sensitive information through a phishing scam.[1]The reason given by Canadian Internet Registration Authority CIRA, for the occurrence is lack of information about cybersecurity.[2] Most of the Canadians are not conversant with how cybercrime occurs. They are always responding to any message, which comes on their gargets with an internet connection without having a second thought that they might be scams. The motioned phishing scam is a fraud carried out to get sensitive information from people through their computers. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) revealed one such crime in 2013.[3]FBI suspected of a criminal botnet operation in Canada which involves a command and control functions through infected computers network.

Most of the Canadians are not aware of such phishing scam messages, and all they do is to follow them where they end up revealing personal information.[4]CIRA reports that most of the Canadians who are using the internet are illiterate on internet matters and thus, the attackers are taking that advantage.[5]Although most of the business people, 77 percent, are worried about cybercrimes, not much they can do because they do not know how it occurs.[6]However, the crime is affecting even the few individuals who are aware of the scams because of the growing technology. As the knowledge of attack continues to increase, the attackers are also upgrading their attack strategies and technology.

Lack of personal protection and internal expertise is also exposing Canadians to cybercrimes. Most of the small businesses in Canada have not invested in the security of the scams. In the CIRA 2017 survey, over 36 percent of the business did not have cybersecurity protection.[7]Cybercrime is becoming complex every day with the advancement of technology. Most of the small business people in Canada are unable to purchase the protection software for their computers and therefore are vulnerable to the crimes.[8]

There is also a lack of protection on the Canadian government which is exposing the nation to cybercrime. The government does not have updated protection software and it is neither controlling who is accessing is internet connected systems.[9]Without protection software, online attackers are targeting the government to weaken their systems for personal gain. Also, the various administrators of provinces are taking the advantage to fight against the government in what is known as cyber warfare.[10] A good illustration of the vulnerability of the government appears in 2012 where the House of Common attacked the Québec’s government portal through Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS).[11]

The popularity of devices connected to the internet in Canada is also increasing exposure to cybercrimes.[12]Most of the common devices in Canada like television, home control systems, home appliances are connected to the internet. The devices are therefore prone to malicious activities from attackers. In that case, the hackers are using the internet or computer as a tool to commit the crime. Industries in Canada are using Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to monitor processes.[13] The systems are connected to computers through the internet making them vulnerable to cyber crimes like the DDoS. Internet criminals are taking advantage of the increased application of the internet in industrial processes and home appliances to carry out criminal activities.

Canadian judicial system lacks the capacity and legal framework to prosecute cybercrime suspects. The Royal Canadian Mounted police (RCMP) complains that there is too much bureaucracy in the court requiring them to prove that the suspect committed the crime leading to discouragement in their efforts.[14]In the case of Spencer v. Her Majesty the Queen, for instance, the Supreme Court limited police search by pointing out that they must have a search warrant to access internet information of an accused person.[15]Although the police force is arresting a large number of suspects, the court is fining or imprisoning a few. Most of the online attackers are taking the advantage to commit crimes in the country with courage knowing that the court will leave them free.

Lack of technical knowledge to track and investigate cybercrimes is exposing Canada as a nation to internet-related crimes. RCMP, which the government entrusts with the responsibility of the cyber-related crimes, has proved an inability to examine and cybercrimes planning and even after their occurrence.[16]The department complains the lack of enough resources to investigate cases related to cybercrime.[17]Attackers are therefore taking advantage of weak police system to commit crimes. The argument is illustrated and emphasized by the increase in the number of technology-related crimes from 800 in 2011 to 4000 in 2012.[18]

In several instances, the FBI gives RCMP clues of cybercrimes going on in Canada. Even after they are given the information, the FBI has gone ahead to help the police department establish the exact crime and those carrying it out. One of the instances where RCMP was not aware of an ongoing crime is in 2013 where hackers were using Canadian IP addresses for command and control actions.[19]The crime was targeting the leading financial institutions in the nation. Through the help of the FBI and other government partners, RCMP was able to interrupt over 1400 botnet.[20]

In another case, which occurred in 2010, the FBI was the main leader of operation in Canada aimed at searching for online criminals.[21] RCMP was only assisting. The two instances show that Canada does not have the necessary expertise and technology to locate cybercrimes and arrest the attackers. High technology is enabling countries like Russia to control most of the incidences or investigate them.[22] Cybercriminals have high experience in technology, and they apply high tech concept to carry out crimes. They keep on upgrading their internet and computer tactics once they discover that technicians have found a solution to their strategy. Canada lacks computer experts who can go ahead of the criminals to identify the next strategy they might use.[23] The courtly is not well equipped with components like high-speed internet and modern computer softawers to track an attack in the planning stage. Most of the attackers are therefore targeting Canada because they know that it does not have the expertise to trap them.

The continuous expansion of cybercrime without improvement in policing techniques is also making Canada prone to crimes.  Internet criminals are taking advantage of improving technology to improve their crime tactics.[24]Some of the emerging technologies being taken advantage of by criminals include anonymous online networks, cloud computing, virtual currency schemes, and social media.[25]The technology is making internet crimes to be more complex creating the need for new strategies on policing. RCMP, which is responsible for investigating online crimes, has not matched their policing strategies with the current trend in cybercrimes.[26]However, the rate at which complexity in online crimes is growing is a challenge not only to the Canadian nation but also to many countries.

Criminals can plan a cybercrime in Canada because they know that when they move into the neighboring country, the police will not arrest them.[27] Cybercrime is an emerging issue, which most countries are not prepared for, is taking advantage of lack of cooperation from different governments Canada being one of them. There are no legal frameworks, established between Canada and other neighboring countries to help arrest those internet criminals who escape after an attack.  Also, the neighboring countries are yet to establish their cybercrime laws, which will allow the arrest and prosecution of the attackers.[28] Criminals are taking the advantage and with the knowledge that when they escape in other European countries, police will not hand them over to Canada judicial system. Also, they know that the countries they seek refuge cannot arrest or prosecute them because they do not have established laws. Lack of cooperation between Canada and other European countries and the absence of laws to control cybercrimes in neighboring countries is, therefore, making the country vulnerable to the attacks.

Ways of Addressing the Vulnerabilities

Due to lack of expertise and limited jurisdiction to deal with cybercrime cases, the Canadian government through the minister of justice has entered a treaty with other European counties to reinforce their legal and judicial systems. Budapest treaty will help Canada to have cooperation with other states in the detection and identification of cybercrimes.[29] Canada will also benefit from well-structured and strong legal system on cybercrimes to help prosecute those caught on the acts.[30]Through the cooperation, the member states including Canada will be able to develop legislation to combat cybercrimes. Lack of proper law has affected the fight against cybercrimes. Canadian police are complaining of lack of a proper judicial system to handle cybercrime cases.[31] According to the police, the court is freeing most of the suspected people claiming that there was no evidence.

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) has formed a Crime Cyber Council with the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance to support cybercrime strategies.[32][33]The council focuses on determining the education need on cybercrime to the citizens. Through the board, small business people who are unable to recognize scam messages and other cyber insecurities will be educated to help avoid the incidences.[34]The council will also attend the technological need of people with internet connected computers to help them reduce the effects of cybercrimes.

Through the increased budget allocation of $431.5 million to cybersecurity activities, RCMP has increased its resources to help carry out investigations and intelligence on internet crimes.[35] The police department has invested in training its members on the trend in technology to be able to understand the concepts hackers are using.[36]With the resources, the agency is now able to carry out in-depth investigations to have sufficient facts to prosecute suspects.

The Canadian government has also supported innovations to develop skills and knowledge in cyber operations.[37]It aims at increasing the number of cybersecurity professionals to help in identifying the newly implemented strategies by those targeting the internet[38]. Professionals in cybersecurity will carry out research and develop strategies to reduce the harm caused by the cybercrimes. They will also be able to guide people on the technological upgrade like softwares to protect their information on computers.

Conclusion

Cybercrime has challenged even the most technologically advanced countries because of its changing nature with advancements in technology. It is a high tech crime which is affecting governments and individuals. Canada is much affected because of the many loopholes which the attackers are using. There is a lack of knowledge about how cybercrimes are occurring as well as a weak legal framework to face cybercrimes leading to a continuous increase in the acts. However, most governments have adopted and continued to come up with strategies to protect themselves from harm. The plans include training of their law enforcement officers on the technology being used by the hackers and increasing innovation to create internet professionals who will help the citizens. Although cybercrimes are growing, people are raising their strategies to reduce their vulnerabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Bender, Annegret, and Andrew L. Porter. “European cybersecurity policy within a global multi-stakeholder structure.” (2013) Rev. 18 EFA 155 (HeinOnline)

Canada, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). “Canadian Cybersecurity Survey- Spring edition” (2018) 1-18 https://cira.ca/sites/default/files/public/CIRA-Canadian-Cybersecurity-WP2018.pdf.

Canada, eCrime Cyber Council. “ECC Mandate & Priorities” (2019) https://cata.ca/Communities/PSAB/ecc.html.

Canada, Public Safety Canada. “National Cyber Security Strategy; Canada’s Vision for Security and Prosperity in the Digital Age” (2018) https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/ntnl-cbr-scrt-strtg/index-en.aspx#s44

Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime treaty (adopted 23 November 2001) ETS No.185

Fourie, Ina, Theo JD Bothma, and Constance Bitso. “Trends in transition from classical censorship to Internet censorship: selected country overviews.” (2013) no. 46 JALIW 166-191(Association for International Affairs)

Gendron Angela. “Cyber threats and multiplier effects: Canada at risk” (2013) 19, no. 2 CFPJ 178-198. (Taylor & Francis).

Howard Solomon. “Canadian police frustration over cybercrime shows at conference” (7 November 2017), online: it world Canada https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/canadian-police-frustration-over-cyber-crime-shows-at-conference/398528

Kumar Shipra Ravi, Suman Avdhesh Yadav, Smita Sharma, and Akansha Singh. “Recommendations for effective cybersecurity execution.” In Innovation and Challenges in Cyber Security (ICICCS-INBUSH (2016) International Conference on 342-346

Levin Avner, and Paul Goodrick. “From cybercrime to cyberwar? The international policy shift and its implications for Canada” (2013) 19 no. 2 CFPJ 127-143 (Taylor & Francis).

Luiij  Eric Kim Besseling, and Patrick De Graaf. “Nineteen national cybersecurity strategies” (2013) 69 no. 1-2 IJCIS3-31 (Researchgate).

Olayemi Odumesi John. “A socio-technological analysis of cybercrime and cybersecurity in Nigeria” (2014) 6 no. 3 IJSA 116-125 (Academic journals).

Spencer v Her Majesty the Queen, 2014 SCC 43.

[1]Canada, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). “Canadian Cybersecurity Survey- Spring edition” (2018) 2

[2]Ibid., Par. 2.

[3]Canada, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). “Canadian Cybersecurity Survey- Spring edition” (2018) 2

[4]Ibid., Par 4.

[5]Ibid., Par. 4.

[6]Ibid., Par. 3.

[7]Ibid., Par. 2.

[8]Ibid., Par. 3.

[9]Avner, Levin, and GoodrickPaul. “From cybercrime to cyberwar? The international policy shift and its implications for Canada” (2013) 19 no. 2 CFPJ 30(Taylor & Francis).

[10]Ibid., 133.

[11]Ibid., 140.

[12]John, OlayemiOdumesi. Olayemi Odumesi John. “A socio-technological analysis of cybercrime and cybersecurity in Nigeria” (2014) 6 no. 3 IJSA 118 (Academic journals).

[13]Ibid., 120.

[14]Solomon, Howard.“Canadian police frustration over cybercrime shows at a conference” (7 November 2017)online: it world Canada

[15]Spencer v Her Majesty the Queen, 2014 SCC 43.

[16]Solomon, Howard. “Canadian police frustration over cybercrime shows at a conference” (7 November 2017)online: it world Canada

[17]Ibid., Par. 5.

[18]Ibid., par 3.

[19]Angela Gendron. “Cyber threats and multiplier effects: Canada at risk” (2013) 19, no. 2 CFPJ 173.(Taylor & Francis).

[20]Ibid., 180.

[21]Ibid., 192.

[22]Kumar Shipra Ravi, Suman Avdhesh Yadav, Smita Sharma, and Akansha Singh. “Recommendations for effective cybersecurity execution.” In Innovation and Challenges in Cyber Security (ICICCS-INBUSH (2016) International Conference on343.

[23] Fourie, Ina, Theo JD Bothma, and Constance Bitso. “Trends in transition from classical censorship to Internet censorship: selected country overviews.” (2013) no. 46 JALIW 166-191(Association for International Affairs)

 

[24]Angela Gendron. “Cyber threats and multiplier effects: Canada at risk” (2013) 19, no. 2 CFPJ 189.(Taylor & Francis).

[25]Ibid., 190.

[26]Angela Gendron. “Cyber threats and multiplier effects: Canada at risk” (2013) 19, no. 2 CFPJ 189.(Taylor & Francis).

[27] Annegret Bender, and Porter Andrew. “European cybersecurity policy within a global multistakeholder structure.” (2013) Rev. 18 EFA 155 (HeinOnline)

[28] Ibid., 156.

[29]Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime treaty (adopted 23 November 2001) ETS No.185, 1

[30]Canada, Public Safety Canada. “National Cyber Security Strategy; Canada’s Vision for Security and Prosperity in the Digital Age” (2018)  Par. 2.

[31]Solomon, Howard. “Canadian police frustration over cybercrime shows at conference” (7 November 2017)online: it world Canada

[32]Canada, eCrime Cyber Council. “ECC Mandate & Priorities” (2019), Par. 2.

[33]Canada, Public Safety Canada. “National Cyber Security Strategy; Canada’s Vision for Security and Prosperity in the Digital Age” (2018)  Par. 4.

[34]Canada, Public Safety Canada. “National Cyber Security Strategy; Canada’s Vision for Security and Prosperity in the Digital Age” (2018)  Par. 4.

[35]Luiij  Eric Kim Besseling, and Patrick De Graaf. “Nineteen national cybersecurity strategies” (2013) 69  no. 1-2 IJCIS7 (Researchgate).

[36]Kumar Shipra Ravi, Suman Avdhesh Yadav, Smita Sharma, and Akansha Singh. “Recommendations for effective cybersecurity execution.” In Innovation and Challenges in Cyber Security (ICICCS-INBUSH (2016) International Conference on346.

[37]Ibid., 344.

[38]Luiij  Eric Kim Besseling, and Patrick De Graaf. “Nineteen national cybersecurity strategies” (2013) 69  no. 1-2 IJCIS7 (Researchgate). 5

Do you need high quality Custom Essay Writing Services?

Custom Essay writing Service

Stuck with Your Assignment?

Save Time on Research and Writing

Get Help from Professional Academic Writers Now