Security supervisor nabbed for bot herding

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Montreal-based security supervisor Joseph Mercier has been charged by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) after allegedly developing malware to create a botnet.

The botnet that Mercier created was found in Montreal, and had infected PCs in his employer's offices, along with two school boards in the region. Further examination showed that machines had been compromised as far afield as the United States, France, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

"Many more computers, including some at the suspect's employer, were infected to allow the hacker to commit computer crimes. It should be noted that the suspect was in charge of computer security for the company where he worked," the RCMP said.

The malware not only included a keylogger for picking up victims' credentials as they were being typed into a computer, but also included code that grabbed images from the victim's webcam.

The RCMP began investigating 24-year-old Mercier in December, and searched his home and his office. A victim's home was also searched, said reports.

Mercier appeared in court at Laval, charged with unauthorized use of computers under section 342 of the Criminal Code. He was released on bail pending trial, and was forbidden from using computers unless the use is work-related.

Police are now focusing on finding possible accomplices.
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