[QODLink]
Americas

Canadian arrested for Heartbleed hacking

Man arrested in first case linked to internet code bug which allows hackers to bypass encryption of private details.

Last updated: 17 Apr 2014 01:59
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The Canadian government shut federal websites to guard against hackers. [Al Jazeera]

A 19-year-old Canadian has become the first person arrested for theft of information related to the Heartbleed bug, a defect that allows hackers to bypass internet encryption code.

Federal police in Canada said on Wednesday they had arrested and charged Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes over the theft of 900 Canadian taxpayers'  data, which was made vulnerable by the "Heartbleed" bug.

Solis-Reyes was arrested at his London, Ontario home on Tuesday without incident. He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday to face charges of mischief and unauthorised use of a computer to steal data from the Canada Revenue Agency's website.

"It is believed that Solis-Reyes was able to extract private information held by the CRA by exploiting the security vulnerability known as the Heartbleed bug," police said in a statement.

The suspect was tracked down within four days after the CRA reported a serious security breach. Police said computer equipment was seized at the suspect's home, and that the investigation is still ongoing.

The Canada Revenue Agency said 900 social insurance numbers - personal nine-digit codes required for working or accessing government benefits in Canada - had been stolen last week by "someone exploiting the Heartbleed  vulnerability." 

Its website was shut for several days over concerns about the Heartbleed bug.

The recently-discovered flaw in online-data scrambling software OpenSSL allows hackers to eavesdrop on online communications, steal data, impersonate websites and unlock encrypted data.

OpenSSL is commonly used to protect passwords, credit card numbers and other data sent via the internet.

More than half of websites use the software, but not all versions have the same vulnerability, according to heartbleed.com.

266

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.