#CyberFLASH: Emerging cybersecurity threats require increased vigilance, cooperation between Canadian and U.S. governments

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VANCOUVER—Given the growing number of international cyberattacks, the Canadian and U.S. governments must intensify their efforts to protect respective national interests, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“In a sense cyberspace is the new Wild West, where very little in the form of international law is operating,” said Professor Alexander Moens, co-author of Cybersecurity Challenges for Canada and the United States, Fraser Institute senior fellow, and political science professor at Simon Fraser University.

“Cyberattacks continue to increase in quantity and quality which is why, in the absence of formal international agreements, North American resilience in cyberspace must be heightened.”

There have been several recent high-profile examples of international cyberattacks including the flurry of Chinese-based attacks against Western political, military, and industrial targets; U.S.-Israeli cooperation to develop and deploy the Stuxnet computer worm against Iran’s nuclear program; and various Russian cyber operations as part of a new form of hybrid warfare.

While quantifying the economic damage of such cyberattacks is challenging, Moens notes that some estimates have pegged the total cost of global cyber incidents at between $375 billion to $575 billion a year.

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