June 25th, 2024

Key federal agencies ill-equipped to fight growing cybercrime threat, auditor finds

By The Canadian Press on June 4, 2024.

Auditor General of Canada Karen Hogan speaks during a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

OTTAWA – The federal spending watchdog says three key agencies lacked the capacity and tools to protect Canadians from cyberattacks and tackle the growing threat of online crime.

In a report today, Auditor General Karen Hogan describes breakdowns in response, co-ordination, enforcement, tracking and analysis between and across the organizations.

Hogan’s review looked at the RCMP, the Communications Security Establishment cyberspy agency and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

She found members of the public are left to figure out where to make a cybercrime report, or might be asked to report the same incident to more than one organization.

For instance, after learning of an offer to sell child sexual exploitation material, the CRTC did not refer the matter to law enforcement but rather told the complainant to contact police directly.

The auditor also says the RCMP has struggled to staff its cybercrime investigative teams, with almost one-third of positions vacant as of January.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2024.

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