Joliette, April 29, 2015 – Earlier today, investigators of the Integrated Technological Crime Unit (ITCU) arrested a 27-year-old female believed to be at the origin of a botnet, i.e. a group of computers infected by a virus and remotely controlled by a hacker, after conducting a search at her residence located in Saint-Alphonse-de-Rodriguez.
The suspect allegedly used a malicious software known as Remote Administration Tool (RAT) that allows cybercriminals to remotely take over and control operations of infected computers and to spy on their victims through their web cameras. The investigation shows that the suspect used various methods to harass her victims, including by eavesdropping on private conversations and by communicating with victims through the speakers of their infected computers. She also frightened her victims by taking over control of their computers and by logging on extreme pornography websites. Her victims included underage children both in Canada and abroad.
It is also alleged that the suspect posted videos on YouTube in which she can be seen taking over control of infected computers and frightening victims. It is further alleged that the suspect is the owner of an online hacking forum that has 35,000 users worldwide. This Canadian-based forum was also seized.
Computer equipment was also seized from the residence of the suspect, who is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon in Joliette. She will face charges of unauthorized use of computer and mischief in relation to computer data under the Criminal Code.
The operation was conducted with the assistance of the Sûreté du Québec.
In most cases hackers are able to infect computers without the victims’ 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. It is also recommended to deactivate your web camera or to cover it when not in use. If you think that you are a victim of malware or other computer crime, report it to your local police department.
If you have information on individuals or groups of persons you suspect to be involved in technological crime, contact the RCMP at 514 939-8300/1 800 771-5401 or your local police department.
Communications Office - Montréal