Editor’s note: Story and map updated with malware data from May 2017
As Canadians flock to the nation’s capital on July 1 for Canada’s 150th anniversary, they’ll also be gathering in the most malware-infected city in the country.
Ottawa’s been at the top of our malware map for months now and its malware rate is only going up. The capital has been growing, to 1,112 per cent higher than the national average in May. That’s compared to 1,022 per cent higher than the average in April.
That’s against the trend across the country, as Canada’s malware infection rate took another dip in May, down 2.9 per cent to about 72,000 total infections detected by SpyHunter in April.
That continues the trend we’ve been seeing on our monthly malware map since the end of 2016. Our monthly malware update comes thanks to EnigmaSoftware.com, creators of the SpyHunter malware removal tool.
In terms of city-by-city rankings, Ottawa remains in the top spot again this month, ahead of Trois-Rivieres, Que. and Montreal. Ottawa’s malware surge in recent months is contrary to trends we’re used to seeing on this map, but the reasons for its spike aren’t clear. At more than 1,000 per cent of the country’s average infection rate, Ottawa has more overall malware infections than Toronto, a city with three times the population.
2016 IT budgets in Canada
Thanks to an update from IDC Canada, we have new security budget data for four Canadian regions – Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic, and Western Canada. The standard for spending seems consistent across the country at 10 per cent of overall IT budgets, but Western Canada shaved off a bit to an average of 8 per cent. There are differences in what areas of security the regions are spending, with server being the top priority everywhere except in Quebec, where cloud was the top priority.
Ransomware in Canada
We added this new data layer in April 2016, thanks to some data from the Malwarebytes blog. After finding ransomware being spread by a Hamilton, Ont.-based hospital’s website, Malwarebytes took stock of the ransomware situation across Canada. Researchers have ranked this category of malware as one of the most threatening in Canada for several years now.
Since January, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software detected more than 10,000 instances of the malware affecting Canadians. It provided a top 10 list of Canadian cities most affected by malware, and we’ve added them to our map (look for the yellow briefcase icons).
Canada’s most malware-infected cities
Ransomware and rogue anti-spyware are the worst types of malware afflicting Canadian computers, EnigmaSoftware.com reports. Ransomware variants like CTB Locker and UKash locks off access to computer files and demands money be sent in order to restore access to the information.
Rogue anti-spyware such as Winfix 10 and PC Speed Maximizer create fraudulent messages claiming a computer is infected and then offers to fix the problem in exchange for money.
Cybercrime in Canada
We’ve also updated our cybercrime map of Canada with a new layer of data, showing the police-reported cybercrime from 2013, the most recent data available from Statistics Canada. The range of cybercrime reported by police services in Canada range from types of fraud to threats to crimes of a sexual nature. In 2013, more than half of all cybercrime reported was described as a fraud violation, with 6,203 offenses out of a total of 11,124 offenses across all categories.
Rounding out the top five most-common cybercrimes committed in 2013: uttering threats (786 offenses), child pornography (761), criminal harrassment (735), and luring a child via a computer (638). In sixth spot, identity fraud was reported 580 times, while identity theft was tallied as a separate category and reported 131 times.
Statistics Canada’s data is reported by police services covering 80 per cent of the Canadian population. In Ontario, police services covering 62 per cent of the population reported cybercrime statistics. Notably, Toronto is not included.
York Region was Canada’s hottest region for cybercrime in 2013, with 716 offences reported there. Following was Vancouver with 574, Ottawa with 509, Halifax with 236, and Hamilton with 231.
Do you have data you think could add to our Malware Map of Canada? Let us know on Twitter by tweeting @itbusinessca.