Hackers targeting Canadian banks, mining companies, expert tells MPs

A leading cybersecurity analyst tells MPs that foreign hackers have targeted Canadian banks, mining companies and government institutions in recent years to steal valuable secrets and spread malware.

Christopher Porter, chief intelligence strategist at security firm FireEye, says in February 2017 multiple major Canadian financial institutions were exposed to the risk of state-sponsored cybertheft from North Korea in a scheme to redirect people to malicious downloads that would seize control of their computer.

He says a number of Canadian financial organizations appeared prominently on the ultimate target list.

Porter is appearing as a witness today at the House of Commons committee on public safety and national security.

He says at least a half-dozen organized-crime groups conduct financial crime operations targeting companies and people in Canada with a sophistication once seen only among nation-states.

Porter says FireEye routinely uncovers major underground sites selling thousands of stolen Canadian credit cards at a time, sometimes from major banks but also targeting customer accounts at smaller banks and credit unions.