RCMP charge 2 Montreal men in cyberattacks at Canadian Tire, BMO and Simplii

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The RCMP have laid charges against two Montrealers after an investigation into high-profile cyberattacks at Canadian Tire, Bank of Montreal and Simplii a few years ago.

The RCMP said in a press release Thursday that Jacob Costanzo-Peterson and Félix Costanzo-Peterson have been charged with unauthorized use of a computer, identity theft and possession of a device to obtain unauthorized use of computers.

The charges stem from an investigation the RCMP launched in 2017, after Canadian Tire reported that its customer loyalty rewards program had been breached and some customer information was stolen.

The investigation later expanded after the financial institutions BMO and Simplii revealed that tens of thousands of their accounts were breached in a cyberattack in May of that year.

The home of the two accused was searched in August 2018, where police say much evidence was seized, including computer files and firearms.

"If it had not been for the valuable collaboration of these three companies, we would not have been able to bring these two individuals to justice," said Alexandre Beaulieu, who leads the RCMP's cybercrime investigative team. "These partnerships are key in solving these types of crimes, which unfortunately sometimes go unreported."

The two men were previously charged in 2019 on weapons charges. They will have a new court date on Nov. 5, in Quebec Court for the new charges.