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Canada remains glorious and free of ransomware

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It’s just not polite to extort people, and Canadians are a polite bunch.

While the United States and Canada face a number of similar cyber threats, our friendly neighbors to the north don’t have to deal with the ransomware risk. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their systems, which forces victims to pay ransom through certain online payment methods to grant access to their systems or get their data back.

While ransomware is a major threat in the United States, it’s not among the top cyber risks in Canada, according to research by Irving, Texas-based Trend Micro. Currently, the most prominent threat in Canada is the OpenCandy adware toolbar, in which users are tricked into installing this into the machines, allowing malware to be downloaded onto the devices, according to Natasha Hellberg, Ottawa-based senior threat researcher, Trend Micro.

Canada is not a significant host of malicious sites, with only 0.2% of global traffic to malicious sites headed to sites hosted in the country, she said. In fact, the malicious sites that Canadians visit are predominantly hosted in, yes, the United States.

While the report didn’t specify why the ransomware threat was not a problem in Canada, Christopher Budd, the company’s global threat communications manager, suggested to SCMagazine.com that cost-benefit analyses by cyber criminals could show that such actions would not be as profitable in the country because Canadians are not prone to falling victim to such scams.

Or it’s possible that hackers just haven’t made their way to the Great White North yet.