Sudbury Police charge 25-year-old Spencer Brydges in Laurentian University network hacking

Spencer Brydges, a 25-year-old Sudbury man has been charged by police following a hack of Laurentian University’s computer network in February.

Police say computers and storage devices seized from Sudbury residence

Sudbury police say 25-year-old Spencer Brydges was charged with hacking into Laurentian Univeristy's computer system in February. (Casey Stranges CBC)

25-year-old Spencer Brydges has been charged by police following a hack of Laurentian University's computer network in February.

In a statement issued Thursday, police said after a lengthy investigation a warrant was executed at Brydges' Sudbury home on Wednesday, where computers and data storage devices were seized.

"The investigation is ongoing, so there will be forensics completed on the devices that were seized from the search warrant, and that will be added to information that we've already put towards the court," said Detective Sergeant Blair Ramsay, who works in the cybercrime unit. 

Brydges said he was wondering what took police six months to arrest him. 

"It did get to a certain point where I was [thinking] 'are they trying to drag this under the rug?" Brydges told CBC News. "I had advised Laurentian that I would hand over my devices, I'll voluntarily speak to police, I have nothing to hide." 

Brydges said hacking into the university's system was all about displaying the institution's vulnerabilities. He had hacked it earlier, he said, accessing the parking database.

"I almost felt compelled to try to get as much access in order to bring as many vulnerabilities as I can," he said. "I wanted to go [to Laurentian] and say look, this is everything I found. Can you say the data is secure?"

Brydges said he understands the process, how Laurentian, the police and Canada's privacy commissioner must now determine whether or not he actually accessed anyone's personal information for fraudulent purposes or extortion.

He hopes to bring the conversation to the public, and raise awareness about government institutions and their vulnerable computer systems that store reams of personal data.

Brydges has been released with a promise to appear in court September 6. He's being charged with:

  • unauthorized use of a computer system
  • mischief to data
  • breach of probation