Cyber Security Today: Making hackers avoid Canada, and is your Android phone secure

Making hackers avoid Canada, is your Android phone secure and attacks against the U.S. government.

We’re bringing you the latest cyber security news. Welcome to Cyber Security Today.



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I spent some time last week at the International Cyber Risk Management conference in Toronto, where a government cyber security official urged Canadians to help make this country an unattractive neighborhood for hackers. Scott Jones said every Canadian has a role to play in increasing the country’s cyber resilience. That includes executives in companies showing leadership, making sure employees are trained in security awareness, and making them feel free to report mistakes. Companies must identify valuable digital assets, rate the risks of a cyber breach and come up with plans to mitigate those risks. Also at the conference, a TD Bank security executive repeated what cyber specialists have been saying for years – the vast majority of data breaches could be been stopped if companies follow basic cyber security practices. Do that before buying new security technology, he advised.

For more on the conference see my stories on

Every device needs security updates, and Android smart phones are no different. However, getting updates on Android isn’t easy. Not only does Google have to make them available, wireless carriers have to approve them before pushing them out. Now a German security company says Android vendors regularly forget to include some patches. Installing patches every month is an important first step, it says. But it’s not enough unless all relevant patches are included. The good news is its hard to hack an Android phone. The bad news is hackers know this, so they attack phones by getting users to click on malicious links in email and text messages. So beware of what you click on.

Finally, you’re not the only one who has to watch for spearphishing emails, texts and social media messages. Politico reports the U.S. State Department has warned employees about a campaign of messages with malicious links. Messages have links to supposed political science or technical conferences, or offer stock market secrets. Computers of government employees, of course, are prime targets of an attacker. So think twice before clicking on links in any message someone sends you.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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