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Montréal, May 19, 2014 – Last week, the Quebec RCMP Integrated Technological Crime Unit (ITCU) participated in a major international criminal operation. The investigation initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and coordinated by Eurojust targeted computer hackers who used a malicious software (malware) to create botnets, i.e. groups of infected computers that can be remotely controlled.
Last May 13 and 14, a large-scale, coordinated takedown took place in 16 countries. More than 350 house searches were carried out and 97 people were arrested. The investigators acted quickly to keep the number of victims to a minimum. All the evidence now has to be examined. The investigation is ongoing and could lead to more arrests and charges.
"Cybercrime has no boundary", explains Chief Superintendent Jeff Adam, Director General, Technical Investigative Services. "This type of investigation is part of Canadian efforts to address pure computer crime activities affecting the Canadian public and infrastructure. Continuously researching new technologies and trends, we work in close collaboration with our partners, domestic as well as international, to protect Canadians."
The malware in question is a Remote Administration Tool (RAT) that allows cybercriminals to remotely take over and control operations of an infected computer. Common uses for this malware include: access to victims’ computers; theft of passwords; webcam control; key-logging ability; and distributed denial of service attacks, among others.
The suspects were able to remotely access computers owned by private citizens and corporations worldwide and to commit identity theft or other crimes using their infected computers.
This can in most cases be done without the victim’s knowledge. Although good quality anti-virus software is required for protection against malware, you should never open any email from an unknown source or click on any link that looks suspicious.
In Canada, the ITCU investigates computer crimes of national and international scope. Working jointly with all the organizations concerned by the problem of computer crime is essential, as this collaboration allows for the sharing of expertise and best practices to better protect the public interest and to be proactive in the fight against computer crime.
If you have information on individuals or groups of persons you suspect to be involved in technological crime, contact the RCMP at 1 800 771-5401 or your local police department.
On call spokesperson - 514-939-8300