In Canada, more than 15 million people are employed full-time and the Canadian economy is expected to grow this year, despite pandemic-related shockwaves. Due to its stable economy, Canada has gained popularity as a target for phishing attacks.

According to the RSA Quarterly Fraud Report: Q1 2020, more than 65% of all phishing attacks during the Q1 timeframe were directed towards Canadian internet users. The vast majority of these attacks were email-based. By comparison, only 7% of all phishing attacks during the Q1 timeframe were directed towards US internet users.

Why are scammers targeting Canadians?

Cyber criminals want to follow the money. A significant number of the attacks target Interac, a payment services provider that’s used by a wide array of Canadian financial institutions. “With a single campaign focused on Interac…cyber criminals can potentially affect numerous banks in the country.”

Previously, cyber security researchers have indeed seen major phishing campaigns that focus on Interac. Last year, a Check Point security team observed more than 300 look-alike domains that hosted phishing websites for more than a dozen banks that relied on the Interac system. Although phishing attacks are frequently conducted by overseas threat actors, experts believe that these phishing attacks are propagated by Canadian citizens.

What now?

“With outdated passwords on firmware or routers—we give the bad guys an early Christmas” says one expert. Cyber criminals are eager to exploit security gaps, low cyber security awareness, and new technological transitions in order to make their gains.

Combat hackers by implementing strong email security protections, educating users and taking a cautious approach during digital development initiatives.

For more on phishing trends in Canada, visit Tech Target.