Cops in Canada have arrested a teen they believe to be behind an attack on the country’s tax system using the Heartbleed bug.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said 19-year-old Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes of London, Ontario, was cuffed 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 reported that it arrested 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. ®