Charges laid against two Montrealers after ‘significant’ cyber-attacks

A woman uses a computer keyboard in Vancouver on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. A new policy group estimates more than half of all Canadians know they've been a victim or target of a cyber crime, such as a leak of personal information, an account hack or installation of malware. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward. Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) says charges have been laid in Quebec court against two Montrealers alleged to have been behind three major cyber-attacks dating back nearly three years.

The incidents took place in February 2017, when Canadian Tire reported a breach of its customer loyalty program, and in May 2018, when both the Bank of Montreal and Simplii Financial reported intrusions into their computer systems.

Read more: SAQ computers hacked, personal data of employees consulted

The incidents prompted what the RCMP called “Project Arrogance and Project Assemble,” two separate investigations that were only linked after an August 2018 search of the home of the two accused men.

Jacob Costanzo-Peterson and Félix Costanzo-Peterson have been charged with identity theft, unauthorized use of a computer and possession of a device to obtain unauthorized use of computers.

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This is not the first time the men have faced charges stemming from the RCMP’s “Arrogance” and “Assemble” investigations: the Costanzo-Petersons were in court in January 2019 to face prohibited firearms and weapons-trafficking charges.

They will appear in court Nov. 5, 2020.

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