Canadian man charged in ransomware attack on Alaska state computer

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A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday in Alaska charges a Canadian man with committing cyberattacks on a health-related computer owned by the State of Alaska.   

According to court documents, 31-year-old Matthew Philbert, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, conspired to and damaged a state computer in April, 2018.

In a parallel investigation, the Canadian authorities also announced cyber charges against Philbert relating to attacks on Canadian computers. He was arrested on Nov. 30 by Ontario Provincial Police, and remains in custody. Investigators believe he was not acting alone, but there are no other indictments.

Philbert is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with 10 or more protected computers and, had he been successful, would have modified and impaired medical examination, diagnoses, and treatment or care of more than one person, the grand jury indictment says. His actions are seen as a threat to public health and safety.

The indictment in the District of Alaska is part of an ongoing national effort by the Department of Justice to address cybercrimes that target U.S. citizens from abroad.

Canada’s criminal investigation began after the FBI contacted the Ontario Provincial Police in January, 2020 about ransomware attacks on Alaska coming from Canada.

7 COMMENTS

  1. This guy is probably an asset and is now taking the fall.
    If the FBI is involved in the investigation, there is a good chance that they actually orchestrated the attack.
    When the story dies, the ‘suspect’ will return to his life to wait for the next job.
    After watching the corruption in our government in real time, I would not put it past them to create a situation that calls for more cyber security regulation. This means giving up more freedom for security.

  2. In the 1980s and 90s the problem was kleptomania and today its hacktivists. Both kinds of people have an stealing obsession

  3. Probably just another poor Canadian who was driven over the edge by all the authoritarian and outright tyrannical mandates and restrictions put in place by the government of the Dominion of Covidia.

    • You know, Jefferson, not every behavior you don’t approve of is the result an overbearing and infringing government. You really need to get away from MRAK, Fox, Breitbart, and MAGA in general for a while and see that there’s a big, beautiful world out there for you to enjoy. Spending all day at your keyboard seething with bitterness and conspiratorial thoughts isn’t good for you in the long run.

      Honestly, lighten up a little. Life is good.

      Like most hackers, this person was probably just some techie who wanted too see how far he/she could get, and if there was any money to be made as a result.

      And by the way, studies show that the average Canadian was happier than the average American in 2021. Just sayin’.

      • Whidbey, I no more “spend all day at the keyboard” than you likely do. Probably less.
        .
        But in regards to your last comment, all I can say is “ignorance is bliss”. Even, apparently, the ignorance of the concentration camp inmate.

    • No one is ever “driven” to commit a sin. Only tempted. In the end, it is always the sinner’s choice to do so. That is why they call it sin.

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