An ancient portage site on Amisk Lake in eastern Saskatchewan, Denare Beach has a rich history as an Aboriginal trading post. Now, the community of 750 may become better known for botnets than beavers.

In August, a 19-year-old resident, Ryan Devin Lee, was charged with launching an attack on a business based in New York City from the small town. Lee’s arrest was the result of the first police investigation into a cyberattack in the province’s history. He’s charged with using botnet technology to disrupt service at a group of teen and adult social networking and chat sites.

According to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Darren Sabourin, Lee harbored a grudge against the owner of the unnamed sites stemming from the man’s refusal to share software with the Saskatchewan teen. Sabourin, a member of the Regina-based Technological Crime Unit, was alerted to the alleged attack in early June, 10 days after the New York sites suffered a catastrophic distributed denial-of-service. The service owner, based in the United States, told RCMP that Lee had threatened to shut down the sites if he was refused access to the software.

On June 9, police in Saskatchewan obtained a warrant to seize computers from Lee’s remote home.

Charged with using a computer to commit an offence, committing mischief to data, and possession of a device to commit a computer offence, Lee is scheduled to appear in provincial court on Sept. 14.