RCMP says it nabbed Heartbleed hacker

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says it has arrested a 19-year-old man from London, Ont. who is believed to have used the Heartbleed computer bug to steal 900 social insurance numbers from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The RCMP’s National Division Integrated Technological Crime Unit (ITCU) said it operatives picked up Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes at his residence on April 15. He now faces one count of Unauthorized Use of Computer and one count of Mischief in Relation to Data.

“The RCMP treated this breach of security as a high priority case and mobilized the necessary resources to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Investigators from National Division, along with counterparts in ‘O’ Division have been working tirelessly over the last four days analyzing data, following leads, conducting interviews, obtaining and executing legal authorization and liaising with our partners,” said Gilles Michaud, RCMP assistant commissioner, in a statement on Wednesday.

It was later reported that Solis-Reyes is a second year computer science student at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in London. His lawyer said Solis-Reyes surrendered peacefully to police.

The student’s father, Roberto Solis-Oba is an assistant professor at the computer science department at Western.

The investigation was conducted as part of the ITCU’s mandate to investigate pure computer crimes where the Federal Government or Canadian critical IT infrastructure are victimized. National Division’s mandate is to focus its expertise in sensitive, high-risk investigations into significant threats to Canada’s political, economic and social integrity.

The CRA was forced to shut down its Web site last week as news about the Heartbleed bug spread around the world. Some researchers said that existence of the bug has been known for at least two years, but little has been done by organizations to protect their systems against it. The CRA on Monday this week said that it discovered that 900 SIN accounts have been compromised.

Solis-Reyes is scheduled to appear in court in Ottawa on July 17. The investigation is still ongoing. The RCMP is committed to advising Canadians of any significant developments in this case.

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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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