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Teen arrested as first alleged hacker to exploit Heartbleed

Posting in Technology

A Canadian teenager has been arrested and charged as the first hacker to allegedly take advantage of the calamitous Heartbleed security flaw.

Heartbleed made the headlines last week when it came to light as a severe security flaw found within the OpenSSL framework used to secure popular online services, banking and online retail sites worldwide. The security weakness, if exploited, allows hackers to quietly steal sensitive data in vast amounts by communicating with servers.

The flaw affects a large portion of web traffic and companies across the globe have been frantically issuing patches and shoring up systems since the news broke.

On Tuesday, a 19-year-old man in Ontario, Canada, was arrested for allegedly using Heartbleed to hack in to the country's tax agency network, the Canadian Revenue Agency. Computer science student Stephen Solis-Reyes is believed to be the first hacker to take advantage of the break in the widely-used security protocol -- or at least the first to be discovered.

The agency reported earlier this week that 900 social insurance numbers had been compromised due to Heartbleed, and officials managed to trace the source of the intrusion.

Solis-Reyes faces one count of 'Unauthorized Use of Computer systems' and one count of 'Mischief in Relation to Data.'

Read on: Washington Post

Image credit: CNET

— By on April 17, 2014, 3:01 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure