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Parliament Hill in Ottawa (Dave Chan For The Globe and Mail)
Parliament Hill in Ottawa (Dave Chan For The Globe and Mail)

House of Commons employee charged with trying to hack Quebec government website Add to ...

An RCMP computer specialist allegedly launched a cyberattack against the Quebec government earlier this year from a computer inside the House of Commons where he had a second job.

In a news release, the RCMP said Janvier Doyon-Tremblay, 28, “is believed to have performed a series of attacks on the Government of Quebec’s main website on April 27, 2012.”

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The RCMP alleged that the attack disabled part of the provincial government’s computer network for two days. A subsequent attack against Quebec government websites last May was claimed by the movement called Anonymous as retaliation for the crackdown on student strikes that paralyzed much of the province last spring.

Mr. Doyon-Tremblay has been charged with two counts of unauthorized use of computers and one count of mischief in relation to data under the Criminal Code. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 26.

“While working at the House of Commons, [Mr. Doyon-Tremblay] allegedly hacked into the network and gained administrative privileges. He then would have proceeded with uploading a malicious program which would have targeted the Government of Quebec’s main website,” the RCMP said.

According to his Linkedin account, Mr. Doyon-Tremblay worked as a LAN administrator for the RCMP and as a support officer in the information technology department of the House of Commons at the time of his alleged attack.

He is no longer under contract with either organization, with the RCMP stating that it suspended him last May and ended his contract in July.

“Once the incident came to light, measures were taken in order to preserve the integrity and security of [the RCMP and the House of Commons computer] networks,” the RCMP said.

Mr. Doyon-Tremblay has a degree in information technology from the Université du Québec en Outaouais, located in Gatineau, Que., and was recently working for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

He could not be reached for comment. The RCMP did not reveal any reason for the alleged attack, and the Quebec government did not provide further details on the disturbance that it suffered.

The RCMP is hoping that the arrest will send a message to hackers that it has the ability to trace their nefarious activities.

“There is definitely an increase in computer crimes and they represent a real threat to Canada’s critical infrastructure,” said RCMP Sergeant Stéphane Turgeon in a statement. “The RCMP takes these threats seriously, as they can have a major impact on our economy and our institutions.”

 

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