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IT security executive charged with G20-related threat

Police charge member of TASK and HackLab in Toronto

The Toronto Police Service has laid G20 Summit related-charges against a local computer security expert.

Byron Sonne, 37, of Toronto, has been arrested and charged with six offenses. They are: Intimidation of Justice System Participant by Threat, Intimidation of Justice System Participant by Watch and Beset, Mischief Interfere with Property, Attempt Mischief, Possess Explosive for Unlawful Purpose, and Weapons Dangerous.

Toronto Police would not release any further details on Sonne or the investigation. They said it’s to protect the integrity of the investigation, but did confirm that Sonne’s arrest and subsequent investigation is part of the Toronto Police Service’s ongoing effort to ensure a safe and secure G20 Summit.Sonne was a member of the Toronto Area Securith Klatch, or TASK. TASK board member Brian Bourne of CMS Consulting, when contacted, could not offer much on Sonne. Bourne said that Sonne presented to the TASK group on several occasions and that those talks were well delivered and well received by the group.

“TASK is a group of security professionals who share knowledge and research on matters related to IT security. The group represents a large variety of individuals who wish to improve the overall state of IT security. We meet monthly,” Bourne said.

Sonne is also a member of Hacklab.to, which describes itself as a community space with a diverse membership, including artists, computer programmers, web designers, and hardware hackers. It is inspired by the philosophies of the global hackerspaces movement which encourages people to socialize, share knowledge, and work together on their projects.

Hacklab.to posted a statement about the Sonne situation: “One of our members has been arrested on a number of charges related to the G20. Byron is innocent until proven guilty, and as a member of the lab and a friend we are concerned for him. HackLabTO is a non-profit organization which encourages people to socialize, share knowledge, and work together on technology projects. We run classes, workshops, and a community space in Kensington market.”

Sonne has extensive security experience. Besides his own company. Halvdan Solutions. and his involvement with TASK and HackLab, Sonne worked as a senior systems specialist for Webkinz the popular children’s Web site own owned by Ganz, a plush toy maker based in North Toronto. Prior to Webkinz, Sonne worked for nCircle Network Security where he was a vulnerability and exposure research engineer, and for FSC Internet Corp.

According to Sonne’s LinkedIn account, the security executive goal was to be continually exposed to interesting things and cool people. “Sounds trite, but it’s absolutely true.” Sonne also wrote: “I make order out of chaos” as his experience summary entry.