New CIRA report warns Canadians against malicious cryptocurrency and streaming websites


OTTAWA, February 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The final months of 2021 have seen a flood of cyber incidents affecting critical infrastructure as well as individual users, ranging from scams to online investment in alberta false Canada Border Services Agency applications for social insurance numbers. To shed light on the cyber threats facing Canadians, CIRA today released the second edition of its Canadian Insights Shield report.

By analyzing data from the 2.2 million users of its free cybersecurity service, CIRA Canadian Shield, the Q4 Insights report offers a deep dive into some of the trends detected from October to December 2021. The latest edition of the report shows that over 36 million DNS requests to malicious domains were blocked during the year by CIRA Canadian Shield with a 12% increase from Q3 to Q4.

Malware (malicious software designed to compromise devices) topped the threat rankings with 17.3 million blocks, while phishing attacks (scams where attackers use various impersonation techniques to steal user data) saw the biggest increase throughout the year with a 306% increase from the first quarter.

Canadians’ interest in cryptocurrency has increased dramatically over the past few years, and cybercriminals were paying attention. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC), between January and September 2021the scam with the biggest dollar loss was investment scams, where Canadians lost more than $61.5 million. New data from CIRA confirms that cryptocurrency was the top source of online scams with 21.1% of all requests blocked from cryptocurrency sites in the form of fake pop-up ads and compromised cryptocurrency platforms.

CIRA’s new General Manager of Cybersecurity and DNS Services, Jon Fergusson note: “Malicious actors have become more sophisticated and persistent in their attacks and the fact is that even with increased awareness and training on these cyber threats, some attacks inevitably pass. Much like providing anti-virus software to home users, providing a secure firewall to protect against malware will greatly reduce the risk to the average Canadian online and I’m very proud to be part of CIRA’s Canadian Shield because it brings that essential layer of security to the home user. .”


“Everyone should feel like they can access the internet without fear of threats, scams and attacks. We offer CIRA’s Canadian Shield service as a free service so all Canadians can have a safer online experience, and it’s a key way to build a trusted Canadian Internet through our investment program community,” said Tanya O’Callaghan, CIRA Vice President. , Community Investment, Policy and Advocacy.

Main findings

  • In 2021, recorded phishing blocks quadrupled, between the first and last quarters of the year.
  • A total of 13.3 million requests were blocked between October and December 2021the highest quarterly total in 2021 and a significant increase from the previous quarter.
  • Cryptocurrency and online streaming were the top sources of fraudulent sites, accounting for 21.1% of all blocked requests for cryptocurrency sites and 15.4% for online streaming sites.
  • In December 2021a total of 91,120 blocked requests were associated with attempts to exploit the Log4j vulnerability.
  • The report suggests that cybercriminals are adjusting their scams to peak times of online shopping, around 6-9 p.m. ET.

About CIRA Canadian Shield
CIRA’s Canadian Shield is a free cybersecurity service that improves privacy and blocks botnets, phishing, ransomware and other malware as one of the many ways we are building a Canadian Internet of confidence through our community investment program. CIRA has partnered with Canadian Center for Cyber ​​Security integrate its Canadian threat stream into the Canadian Shield.

CIRA Canadian Shield is designed by Canadians, exclusively for Canadians, and was recently named the default DNS over HTTPS resolver for Mozilla Firefox users in Canada. Earlier this month, CIRA announced its partnership with ScamAdviser, a global leader in anti-scam technology, to integrate fraudulent website protection into CIRA Canadian Shield. This extra layer of protection will protect the families of Canadians from online scams and fraudulent websites.

About CIRA
CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services, such as CIRA’s DNS Firewall and CIRA’s Canadian Shield, that help support its goal of creating a trusted Internet for Canadians. The CIRA team operates one of the fastest growing country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), a high-performance global DNS network, and one of the world’s most advanced back-end registry solutions.

Media Contacts
Delphine Avomo Evouna
Communications Specialist, CIRA
[email protected]

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Source: Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)


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