Expert: 2020 National Cyber Threat Assessment

Published: 20 November 2020

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has named China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea’s state-sponsored cyber activity as posing the “greatest strategic threats” to Canada’s critical infrastructure, intellectual property, and political events like elections. In its 2020 National Cyber Threat Assessment, the agency warns that state-sponsored cyber activity is the most sophisticated and actors are “very likely” attempting to develop capabilities to disrupt critical systems; will “almost certainly” continue conducting commercial espionage against Canadian governments, businesses, and organizations. (CTV News)

Here is an expert from McGill University who can provide comment on this issue:

Benjamin Fung, Full Professor, School of Information Studies

The assessment report suggests that the foreign-state-sponsored actors may target critical Canadian organizations to collect information, pre-position for future activities, or as a form of intimidation. Yet, the general public, academics, and companies may not be able to differentiate which organizations or companies are sponsored by foreign states. A few days ago, an opposition motion was passed, forcing the Liberal government to devise a plan to counter foreign operations in Canada. The government should publish a list of foreign-state-sponsored organizations, so academics and companies can take that into consideration while choosing collaborators, receiving sponsorship, and co-applying research grants.”

Benjamin Fung is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies and an Associate Member of the School of Computer Science. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Data Mining for Cybersecurity. His interdisciplinary research spans across the areas of data mining, machine learning, data privacy, building engineering, and smart cities.

ben.fung [at] (English)

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