CBC News: Free online ‘threat blocker’ launched in Canada as successful COVID-19 scams multiply
By Catharine Tunney | CBC News | April 23, 2020
Canadian Internet Registration Authority teamed up with spy agency on service to thwart malicious websites
As the number of successful pandemic-related scams continues to grow online, Canada’s cyber spy agency is helping to launch a new — and free — threat-blocking tool for all Canadians to use.
This first-of-its-kind initiative is getting tentative applause in cyber security circles, but experts caution the initiative needs to be closely watched to make sure it doesn’t cross any red lines.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA, the not-for-profit agency that manages the .ca internet domain) and the Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s foreign signals intelligence agency, teamed up on the CIRA Canadian Shield — a protected domain name system (DNS) service that prevents Canadians from connecting to malicious websites that might infect their devices and steal their personal information.
CIRA is providing the threat blocking technology while the CSE’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security is offering its threat intelligence services — basically a who’s-who list of every bad actor roaming the web.
“For any piece of malicious software to get to you, 90 per cent of it relies on knowing the address book of the internet,” said Scott Jones, head of the cyber security centre.