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Canadian Cyber Center Identifies Russia, Iran as Cybercrime Safe Havens

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Canada’s cybersecurity center has pinpointed Russia and Iran as nations “very likely” acting as safe havens for cybercriminals.

In its newly released document, titled “Baseline Cyber Threat Assessment: Cybercrime,” the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security cited third-party reports and decisions of agencies in other countries supporting the assessment that Russia and Iran are sponsoring cybercriminals to attack the critical systems of their adversaries, including Ukraine and Western nations, and other countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States.

According to the report, Russian intelligence services and law enforcement are believed to have established relationships with cybercriminals, while Iran is seen hiring individuals who have been indicted by foreign law enforcement authorities to join its intelligence services.

The document noted that state-sponsored threat actors are expected to increase ransomware attacks to conceal the intent of their cyber operations, which may include fulfilling intelligence requirements or gaining profits. It declared ransomware as “the most disruptive form of cybercrime” facing Canada because it can undermine the operations of businesses and government agencies and expose sensitive information of individuals.

The cyber center published the threat assessment report to better inform cybersecurity professionals and Canadian individuals and entities about current cybercrime tactics, techniques and procedures and enable them to strengthen their defenses against cyberattacks.

Sami Khoury, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, encouraged organizations and the public to employ necessary measures to mitigate cyber risks. “Even the most basic cybersecurity measures can help prevent cyber incidents,” he added.

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