A 19-year-old Canadian student at Western University has been charged for allegedly using the Heartbleed Internet bug to hack into the country’s tax agency, forcing it to delay its tax-filing deadline.
In what appears to be the first arrest since the Heartbleed virus was discovered, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said it arrested Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes at his London, Ontario, home late Tuesday afternoon, CBC News reported.
The teen is accused of using the bug to steal over 900 Social Insurance Numbers from the Canada Revenue Agency, which was forced to temporarily shut down its website after the breach.
Mr. Solis-Reyes faces two counts of computer-related crimes. He is scheduled to appear in an Ottawa courtroom on July 17.
“He is an A student and a very, very bright young man,” the teen’s lawyer, Faisal Joseph, said, adding that his client feels “sucker-punched” and is “absolutely devastated” by the charges.
Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said police were treating the security breach as a high priority case, and investigators “have been working tirelessly over the last four days analyzing data, following leads, conducting interviews, obtaining and executing legal authorizations and liaising with our partners.”
If Mr. Solis-Reyes did commit the crimes he’s accused of, he would be responsible for single-handedly delaying the country’s tax-return deadline by nearly a week.
The CRA was forced to push back its tax-filing deadline from April 30 to May 5. Mr. Solis-Reyes could face a maximum of 10 years in prison if found guilty, CBC News reported.