Foreign hackers targeting Canadian banks and government, cyber-security expert tells MPs

Canada Tech

OTTAWA – Foreign hackers have targeted Canadian banks, mining companies and government institutions in recent years to steal valuable secrets and spread malware, a leading cybersecurity analyst warns.In February 2017, multiple major Canadian financial institutions were exposed to the risk of state-sponsored cybertheft from North Korea in a scheme to redirect people to malicious downloads that would seize control of their computer, says Christopher Porter, chief intelligence strategist at California-based security firm FireEye.Story continues below

A number of Canadian financial organizations appeared prominently on the ultimate target list, he told the House of Commons committee on public safety and national security.READ MORE: Elections Canada chief warns political parties are vulnerable to cyberattacksAt least a half-dozen organized-crime groups conduct financial crime operations targeting companies and people in Canada with a sophistication once seen only among nation-states, Porter said Wednesday.FireEye routinely uncovers major underground sites selling thousands of stolen Canadian credit cards at a time, sometimes from major banks, but also targeting customer accounts at smaller banks and credit unions, he added.FireEye, which works with Canadian military and public-safety institutions, says Canada is often one of the first nations targeted for new types of cyberoperations due to its financial wealth, high-tech development and membership in NATO.WATCH: NDP calls out feds inaction after news of banking breach by hackers

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