Monday, May 26, 2008

Cyber Crime Becoming #1 Crime in North America

TOPPER : Cyber Crime Becoming #1 Crime in North America

21 May 2008


CALGARY, May 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Cyber crime is now the most significant challenge facing law enforcement organizations in Canada. The results of a nationwide Deloitte survey, commissioned by the Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB) to determine the magnitude and impact of cyber crime on Canadians, has indicated that cyber crime is a much more serious threat than previously believed. CAPB considers the results of this survey to represent a "call to action".

"We knew that many law enforcement agencies were seeing impacts but, without good numbers, it was hard to get a true sense of how significant the threat was," says Ian Wilms, chair of the Canadian Association of Police Boards. "We now know, thanks to our survey and the efforts of other organizations, that cyber crime is surpassing drug trafficking and is very close to becoming the #1 crime in the nation."

"As a result, the average citizen is now more likely to be a victim of crime through the Internet than on the street or in their home," says Wilms. "Even if they don't own a computer, their information may be on someone else's computer or with a business that uses the Internet which can put them at risk."

"And, just like drug trafficking, cyber crime has a very real impact on victims...unfortunately, it is an invisible threat to many Canadians," he adds.

Combining the results of the CAPB Cyber Crime in Canada survey with other studies, Wilms says agencies are now realizing that the crime forecast looks grim. With a huge upswing in malicious cyber attacks reported, Wilms says the "landscape of law enforcement has changed dramatically."

"Right now, the criminals have all the advantages and we are struggling to keep up and every day we fall further behind," he says. "The pool of victims grows larger every day while the pool of perpetrators also gets larger, younger and more sophisticated...this is a new era for police, fighting a new type of criminal."

With little funding and already-overworked officers, the fight against cyber crime "has to be shared," says Wilms. "This is now a global, societal problem that will require a coordinated, intelligent and powerful response."

"Technology crime units can no longer be viewed as 'nice to have' within our police services," he says. Instead, Wilms says these units must become an integral, key component of any police service strategy including supplying the appropriate resources for computer forensics, cyber crime investigations and cyber crime prevention."

One of the key recommendations from the CAPB survey is the establishment of a dedicated Canadian centre where law enforcement and various agencies can work together to combat cyber crime.

"Canada has many leading experts...ultimately, this is an opportunity for our country to assume a leadership role by helping to become peacekeepers of the Internet," Wilms says.

The CAPB survey was funded by Public Safety Canada, the Government of Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security and the City of Calgary.

Attachments to this release include a fast facts backgrounder and a copy of the report's key recommen- dations. A full copy of the survey report is available for download at www.capb.ca

Fast Facts

In January 2008, the Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB) commissioned a survey to determine the magnitude and impact of cyber crime on Canadians. The survey, conducted by Deloitte LLP, consisted of three components; an Ipsos Reid market research survey of 587 Canadians, an extensive interview process with 63 key contacts throughout law enforcement, prosecutions, government, academia and industry and an analysis of open source survey data. The following statistics are provided from a number of sources, including this survey report.

Key findings of the CAPB Cyber Crime in Canada report:

ü 49% of respondents have been a victim of cyber crime (cyber crimes include computer viruses, banking and personal information being lost or stolen through the Internet, children being bullied or sexually abused through online contact, businesses being hacked and held for ransom, identity theft and interference with critical infrastructure such as power grids, water systems or telephone services).

ü 70% of victims of cyber crime have not reported the crime as they were unsure who to report to or did not think any justice would occur.

ü 86% of respondents indicate that cyber crime has become a concern.

ü 95% of respondents believe they are being targeted for cyber crime (most respondents believe the greatest threats are identity theft, financial fraud and computer viruses).

ü 89% of respondents believe that preventing cyber crime should be a priority of government and law enforcement agencies.

Additional supporting statistics:

o According to a 2007 Symantec study, Canada ranks ninth as a country targeted for malicious cyber activities while the U.S. holds the #1 position. This same study discovered more than 700,000 new malicious code threats for 2007, up from only 125,000 in 2006.

o A 2006 estimate by the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus indicates that identity theft is costing consumers, banks, credit card firms and stores $2 billion annually.

o According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice statistics, identity theft is passing drug trafficking as the number one crime in the nation - approx. one new victim every two seconds.

o Internet child pornography has become a $2.6 billion industry (NCMEC). The latest RCMP estimates indicate there are 60,000 identified IP addresses in Canada accessing child pornography.

o In a recent IBM survey of healthcare, financial, retail and manufacturing industries, nearly 60% of businesses believe that cyber crime is more costly to them than physical crime.

o In 2006, FBI statistics showed a loss of $70 million in bank robberies compared to $220 million lost in due to Rock phishing. Currently the most popular phishing kit, Rock phish allows non-technical individuals to create and carry out phishing attacks.

o 2007 research from the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit shows that the destruction from a single wave of cyber attacks on critical infrastructures could exceed $700 billion - the equivalent of 50 major hurricanes hitting U.S. soil at once.

Report Recommendations

In January 2008, the Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB) commissioned a survey to determine the magnitude and impact of cyber crime on Canadians. CAPB considers the results of this survey to represent a "call to action." The survey suggested a number of recommendations to address cyber crime activities - now considered the most significant challenge facing law enforcement in Canada. A top priority recommendation is the establishment of a dedicated centre where law enforcement, government, the private sector and academia can co-ordinate the fight against cyber crime.

"It is incumbent upon police boards/commissions to work with government to find the resources necessary to protect our communities from cyber crime," says Calgary Police Commission chair Denis Painchaud.

"Having said that, police services cannot work in isolation...we need laws that support the prevention and detection of crime perpetuated over the Internet and we need a national, coordi- nated effort between government, law enforcement, the private sector and academia to get on top of the fastest growing crime in the world," he adds.

Other key recommendations of the CAPB Cyber Crime in Canada survey:

ü The implementation of the legislation as proposed in August 2002 with respect to the lawful access provisions of the criminal code.

ü Changes to existing legislation that would enable information sharing with law enforcement with lower judicial standards than those now applied to search and seizure warrants.

ü Changes to the Canada Evidence Act that would improve on the existing Mutual Legal Assistance treaty's ability to enable the admission of documents held in the normal course of business in another country.

ü Increased resourcing and funding for law enforcement and crown prosecutors related to cyber crime investigations and prosecutions.

ü The need for a central mechanism for the mandatory reporting of designated cyber security incidents to enable quantification of the potential damage to the Canadian economy.

ü New legislation making spamming an offence and the adoption of recommendations made by the Spam Task Force in 2005.

ü Mandatory reporting requirements for child pornography.

ü Increased cyber crime awareness and prevention programs to be introduced into school curriculums as part of educating children on the issues of cyber crime.

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