Canadian, whose identity is not publicly disclosed, has been arrested and charged with carrying out several attacks ransom wares in Canada and the United States. This follows a nearly two-year international investigation, regional police said.
Canadian man charged with multiple ransomware attacks
The investigation determined that this individual from Ontario was responsible for several ransomware attacks affecting businesses, government agencies and individuals in Canada as well as cybercrimes in the United States. The 31-year-old man was arrested after a 23-month-long investigation, carried out with the help of the Royal National Mounted Police (RCMP, Federal Police) and the US Federal Police (FBI). The FBI contacted Ontario Regional Police in January 2020 about ransomware attacks committed from Canada.
The man was charged with “fraud”, “possession of a device enabling the unauthorized use of a computer or the commission of mischief” and “unauthorized use of a computer”. He is currently in custody and is scheduled to appear again in the Ontario Court of Justice on an unspecified date.
Since 2019, Ontario police have observed a 140% increase in the number of reports of these types of offenses. And in the first half of 2021, ransomware attacks increased by 151% globally compared to this same period in 2020, according to numbers from the Canadian Center for Cyber Security. The latter documented 235 ransomware-related incidents in Canada in 2021, and more than half were providers of critical infrastructure.
The majority of these attacks, which can lead to “serious financial repercussions”, however, go unreported, recalls the Canadian cybersecurity authority. Those notified in the first half of the year by financial institutions operating in the United States were valued at $ 590 million.