The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has arrested a Canadian woman accused of remotely taking over victims’ PCs and spying on them using webcams.

Canadian Federal police has arrested a woman last week that was accused to have hacked several computers to take over their webcams. The suspect is a 27-year-old woman that is the allegedly administrator of an on online hacker forum with 35,000 members worldwide.

Valérie Gignac

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, suspect exploited a malware to infect the victims’ PC and control their webcam, the hackers used this technique to recruit machines for her botnet.

According to the investigators of the Integrated Technological Crime Unit (ITCU), the woman is “at the origin of a botnet, i.e. a group of computers infected by a virus and remotely controlled by a hacker.”  The hacker compromised computers of users with common Remote Administration Tool (RAT), once infected the computers she used various methods to harass the victims, that unfortunately include children. The woman was frightened her young victims by taking over control of their computers, accessing their webcam and speakers, and logging on to extreme pornography websites.

“The suspect allegedly used a malicious software known as Remote Administration Tool (RAT) that allows cybercriminals to remotely take over and control operations of infected computers and to spy on their victims through their web cameras. The investigation shows that the suspect used various methods to harass her victims, including by eavesdropping on private conversations and by communicating with victims through the speakers of their infected computers. She also frightened her victims by taking over control of their computers and by logging on extreme pornography websites. Her victims included underage children both in Canada and abroad.”reported the Canadian Authorities.

The woman is also suspected to have posted on YouTube some videos that show how she infected PCs worldwide.

The authorities, assisted by the Sûreté du Québec, seized the woman’s computer equipment at her home in Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, Quebec, and the Canadian-based forum she operated.

The woman will face charges of unauthorized use of computer and mischief in relation to computer data under the Canadian Criminal Code.

Unfortunately the practice to spy on users by taking over their webcam is very common in the criminal underground, on the black market is is possible to acquire powerful RAT malware for less than $100.

I close this post with the suggestions provided by the Canadian Police and let me suggest to never leave your children alone at the PC.

“In most cases hackers are able to infect computers without the victims’ knowledge. Although good quality anti-virus software is required for protection against malware, you should never open any email from an unknown source or click on any link that looks suspicious. It is also recommended to deactivate your web camera or to cover it when not in use. If you think that you are a victim of malware or other computer crime, report it to your local police department.”

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  cybercrime, webcam)

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Pierluigi Paganini

Pierluigi Paganini is Chief Information Security Officer at Bit4Id, firm leader in identity management, member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security)Treat Landscape Stakeholder Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at “Cyber Defense Magazine”, Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog “Security Affairs” recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the “The Hacker News” team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books “The Deep Dark Web” and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.