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Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED

Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A teen suspected of exploiting the Heartbleed bug to rifle through Canada's tax computer systems has been arrested.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said 19-year-old Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes of London, Ontario, was cuffed at his home, and charged with the unauthorized use of a computer and criminal mischief in relation to the theft of taxpayers' personal records from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

"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," assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud said in a statement.

"Investigators from National Division, along with our counterparts in [Ontario] Division have been working tirelessly over the last four days analyzing data, following leads, conducting interviews, obtaining and executing legal authorizations and liaising with our partners."

Solis-Reyes is alleged to have exploited the Heartbleed vulnerability, present in OpenSSL running on the CRA's servers, to swipe 900 social insurance numbers. The CRA believes that whoever hacked the systems gathered the sensitive information during a six-hour window on April 9, which was after the first public reports of the flaw and before the computers were patched.

The attack marked one of the first known instances of hackers actively exploiting the Heartbleed condition in the wild to steal user data. Though if reports are to be believed, the NSA and (likely) other government organizations have been exploiting the flaw for years in order to gather intelligence info.

The RCMP said it detained Solis-Reyes without incident on April 15. The Mounties also seized computer equipment from his home. He is scheduled to appear before a court in Ottawa on July 17 to begin trial.

The investigation is still ongoing, although the Mounties did not report of any other persons involved in the attack. ®

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