Yukon RCMP respond in Whitehorse on April 20. (Dana Hathterly/Yukon News)

Yukon RCMP respond in Whitehorse on April 20. (Dana Hathterly/Yukon News)

Yukon man charged with hacking more than 300 computer networks

Affected networks span B.C., Alberta, N.W.T. and the Yukon. Police say no personal data was stolen

The Yukon RCMP have made an arrest relating to alleged computer hacking between 2018 and 2021 but say that more than 300 secure computer networks across western Canada might’ve been improperly accessed.

A July 25 notice from the police states that the investigation into the hacking was opened in response to data discovered on devices seized during a firearms investigation. Police say they found suggestions of attempts to access more than 500 secure networks in the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

“The attempts to access the secure computer networks were done using a method to capture the password exchange between a device and/or computer and the network access point, then, using computer software, analyze and recover the network password,” the July 25 notice reads.

“The investigation determined that over 300 secure computer networks were compromised during the hacking.”

Police say they found no evidence that any business or personal data was compromised or stolen from the networks.

Fearon Steele has been charged with 13 counts of unauthorized use of a computer and an additional nine counts of mischief to computer data following the investigation. He appeared in Yukon Territorial Court on July 19.

According to the Yukon RCMP, its investigation was assisted by the RCMP Digital Forensic Services and the RCMP National Cybercrime Coordination Centre.

Police are directing anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud to report it to both local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. The centre maintains an online reporting system, and reports can also be made by phone at 1-888-495-8501. Resources for those concerned about their cybersecurity are also available at www.GetCyberSafe.ca

Contact Jim Elliot at jim.elliot@yukon-news.com