Canadian Teen First Arrest In Heartbleed Hacker Attack

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The Canadian Mounties may have gotten their man.

Nineteen-year-old charged in Heartbleed attack case

Just five days after the Heartbleed virus was reported to have penetrated the Canadian Revenue Agency – the northern version of the US Internal Revenue Service – the Calgary Herald is reporting that a 19-year-old has been charged in the case. The hacker in question compromised the personal data of over 900 Canadian citizens, exposing their social security numbers.

Charges are “unauthorized use of a computer” and “mischief in relation to data”

Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes of London, Ontario has been officially charged with the attack, related to “unauthorized use of a computer” and “mischief in relation to data.” Solis-Reyes’ home was searched and his computer seized, according to reports.  He is scheduled to appear in an Ottawa court July 17.  

Solis-Reyes, whose father is a computer science professor at Western University, is said to have worked alone.

Brief window of opportunity

The attack on the Canadian Revenue Agency took place on Friday, just after the Heartbleed bug was made public.  The government agency did patch their servers to protect against attack when the venerability was discovered, but not before Solis-Reyes accessed the server, according to the charges.  In this brief window of opportunity, attackers were able to extract random bits of data from the computer server’s working memory.  In the case of the Canadian Revenue Agency, this included sensitive financial information. It is unclear if sensitive data is typically stored in the server’s working memory.

The breach resulted in shuttering the service when it was discovered, but official announcement of the breach were not made public until early this week.

The Canadian government says it is still in the process of informing the close to 900 Canadian citizens who were affected by the breach.

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About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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