CRTC and RCMP execute search warrants in remote access malware investigation

The CRTC and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) National Division have executed separate search warrants at a home in the Greater Toronto Area as part of an investigation into malicious software (malware) that enables remote access to computers without the users’ consent.

The commission says the operation is part of an international coordinated effort that includes the FBI and Australian Federal Police. It was triggered by tips from international private cyber security firms.

The warrants were obtained as part of ongoing parallel investigations into Remote Access Trojan (RAT) technology which can be used to access computers and lead to the subsequent installation of other malware and theft of personal information.

The CRTC executed a warrant under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and the RCMP  under the Criminal Code, respectively. The RCMP National Division Cybercrime Investigative Team is currently leading the Criminal Code investigation in Canada.

“The execution of this warrant illustrates how our enforcement efforts are focused on online malicious activities. We strive to protect Canadians from online threats, and this lengthy and complex investigation is an example of our commitment. We are grateful for the instrumental collaboration we obtained from our domestic and international partners in this case,” Steven Harroun, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, with the CRTC, said in a press release.

The CRTC says it won’t name the individuals or companies under investigation. Further information will be released when the investigation is concluded.

Canadians are encouraged to report spam, malware and other electronic threats to the Spam Reporting Centre. Those with concerns about protecting their devices against online threats, can consult the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.