RCMP arrested two Montrealers on charges of stealing Bell customer data.
Nana Koranteng and Jesiah Russel-Francis were arrested by RCMP on Oct. 8th, 2019, on charges of unauthorized use of a computer, fraud over $5000, conspiracy to commit fraud, laundering proceeds of crime, identity theft, and identity fraud.
In 2018, RCMP initiated an investigation after being notified that several Bell customer accounts were accessed and information was stolen. The suspects were identified and apprehended after they used the stolen customer information to make online purchases.
In an email to IT World Canada, the RCMP revealed that approximately 97,000 customer accounts were accessed. The total damage of the fraud was valued at around $40,000.
The suspects were acting out of individual interest and were not a part of a larger criminal activity. The RCMP has declined to comment on the attack method.
“This is a textbook example of a hacking case where stolen personal data was used to purchase hardware material,” wrote Alexandre Beaulieu, acting officer in charge of the RCMP Cybercrime Investigative Team at National Division. “I’m proud of the work of our investigators as they worked diligently with our partners to prosecute these crimes which have an impact on our country’s economic well-being.”
The National Division Cybercrime Investigative Team was created in 2016 to combat cybercrime in Canada. It has conducted investigations with local and international governments and law enforcement agencies.
Bell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.