Cybercrime is up 65 per cent from 2001, according to RCMP statistics. And a large number of hacking events go unreported each year, as companies are afraid of going public with such information, said Sgt. Charles Richer, a team leader with the RCMP’s technological crime unit in Ottawa.

Cyberattacks have become more sophisticated, Richer said. Though unable to go into details of the cases he’s investigated, Richer said in one denial-of-service attack, a company was losing $100,000 a day.

Theft of data is happening at a disturbing rate, he said. Smart card cloning through reverse engineering is also possible, if there isn’t enough security. “We’re investigating things that could have been prevented,” Richer said.

Although individual viruses aren’t as common as they once were, more worms are starting to appear, he added.

Many of the crimes are internally generated. Often, the attack is generated from within the network, or the victim knows the perpetrator.

Often, people are the weakest link. “Human issues are at the heart of the matter,” Richer said, which is why it’s essential to train and communicate with employees.

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