17 arrested in Canadian hacking bust

Quebec police have arrested 17, breaking up a botnet hacking network that infected more than 100,000 computers.

Quebec provincial police conducted raids on Wednesday, breaking up a hacking ring that police say is responsible for an estimated CDN$45 million (AUD$48 million) in damage to computer systems.

The hackers installed remote-controlled "botnet" software on victims' computers in order to run phishing and spamming operations, said Capt. Frederick Gaudreau, of the Surete du Quebec, in a videotaped press conference posted to the police agency's Web site. "The hackers managed to install botnets on the victims' computers, which permitted them to control at a distance the victims' computers," he said. "These said computers were then used to attack Web sites in order to steal victims' data."

If convicted of computer hacking charges, the accused could face 10 years in prison, he said.

Although the hackers operated from about a dozen towns all over Quebec, their botnet network was international in scope, infecting 39,000 computers in Poland, 28,000 in Brazil, and 26,000 in Mexico -- the top three countries affected by the group. In all, they hacked into more than 100,000 computers in 100 countries.

The accused range in age from 17 years old to 26 years old, but police did not release the names of the accused. Three of them are minors, Gaudreau said.

This is the first time that Canadian authorities have dismantled such a network, he added. The investigation was done in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?