A 16-year-old boy was arrested and charged Friday following the online posting of credit card information, user names and passwords from a group of Bell Canada’s small business customers.
“We’re seeing so many threats against Canada,” said RCMP Sgt. Stephane Turgeon from the national division’s integrated technical crime unit.
“We had to conduct surveillance. We had to gather information to make sure we had the right person.”
Cops also had to consider intel received from the FBI, who made their own arrest stateside on June 11, said Turgeon.
Other subjects are involved.
The cyber-hacking incident resulted in 22,421 user names and passwords and five valid credit card numbers being posted on the Internet last February.
The young offender — who can’t be named — was cuffed at his home close to the CFB Bagotville base near Saguenay, Que., about three hours north of Quebec City.
“He was arrested without incident,” said RCMP Corporal Lucy Shorey.
The charges stem from an investigation into the hacking of one of Bell Canada’s third-party supplier’s IT systems.
“We’re still analyzing the data and that will take some time,” said Shorey.
The accused is believed to be a member of NullCrew, a “hacktivist” group known for hacking into computers from corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies.
The accused and others from the group claimed responsibility for the attack.
“They were successful because they exploited a vulnerability in the system,” said Turgeon.
He called the incident part of a new trend where “people can get together and do some damage” with tools that are “easily accessible by anyone.”
Cyberhacking can have “a definite impact on the economy,” said Turgeon, by reducing the confidence clients have in technological companies.
“It’s a big deal, really.”
The teen is scheduled to appear in Ottawa court on Aug. 19.
He is facing one count of unauthorized use of computer and two counts of mischief in relation to data.
Copycats, take note.
“We’re watching,” said Turgeon.