ON March 20, 2020, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) issued an alert on cyber threats to Canadian health organizations. The Cyber Centre continues its ongoing engagement with the health sector about a range of threats and implementing mitigation measures. It has determined that the COVID-19 pandemic presents an elevated level of risk to the cyber security of Canadian health organizations involved in the national response to the pandemic.
On Thursday, Global Affairs Canada said in a statement: “At a time when the world is focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we have noted that malicious cyber actors are using this as an opportunity to increase cyber threats targeting vulnerable institutions in the health sector. Canada strongly condemns any malicious cyber activities, particularly irresponsible and destabilizing actions that put people’s lives at risk.
“Just as the international community must join forces to contain, counter and prevent the spread of COVID-19, we must uphold the rules-based international order and the framework of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. When the health sector and front-line workers around the world need every possible resource at their disposal, we must stand together against dangerous and unacceptable action by malicious cyber actors that attempt to put lives at risk and hinder response efforts.
“Canada reaffirms its support for an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyberspace and calls on all actors to refrain from malicious cyber activity that could damage or harm critical infrastructures, particularly hospitals, treatment research facilities and the health sector.
“Canada remains steadfast in its solidarity with allies and partners in promoting a framework for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. We also remain committed to working with partners to prevent, discourage and counter malicious cyber activity at home and around the world.”