According to a various media outlets another 18-year-old has been arrested in the United Kingdom in correlation to the recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks launched against the Xbox Live and PlayStation Network gaming engines over the most recent holiday weekend.
An unnamed man was arrested in Southport United Kingdom and is begin held under the suspicion he is linked with the recent swath of cyber attacks launched against specifically targeted companies. The individual is begin officially held under the suspicion of computer crime and unauthorized access to computer material. Authorities claim the individual may also be tied to unspecified swatting incidents.
SWATTING refers to hoax calls individuals make to authorities with the intent of a tactical SWAT team busting someones door down and a swat team raiding an unsuspecting victims house. The hoax calls are highly illegal and cost taxpayers an average of $10,000 per hoax SWATTING call.
Individuals who call in SWATTING attacks use a number of bizarre scenarios including hostage situations, bomb threats among various others. In most states, the punishment for such calls is a fine and misdemeanor, basically similar to filing a false police report.
Members belonging to the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) seized electronic devices for the investigation, believed to belong to the teen arrested.
“We are still at the early stages of the investigation and there is still much work to be done. We will continue to work closely with the FBI to identify those to who commit offences and hold them to account. Offences referred to as ‘swatting’ involve law enforcement forces in the United States receiving hoax calls via Skype for a major incident in which SWAT teams were dispatched,” Craig Jones, Head of the Cyber Crime Unit at SEROCU, said in a public statement issued Friday.
“We are pursuing cyber criminals using the latest technology and working with businesses and academia to further develop specialist investigative capabilities to protect and reduce the risk to the public,” Jones continued.
The teen arrested is believed to be affiliated with the hacker group known as Lizard Squad, and was said to be on the brink of holiday attack, and that core members of the Lizard Squad remain at large.
In late December the UK police arrested a 22-year-old named Vincent “Vinnie” Omari, in connection with the attacks. Authorities in Finland later questioned a 17-year-old Julius “Ryan/Zeekill” Kivimäki after he and Omari gave a public interview to Sky News about their groups recent attacks. Sources claim Kivimäki has been arrested several times in Finland under charges related to credit card theft and fraud, but is not currently in custody related to Lizard Squads attacks.
Both the gaming engines for the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live have been the recent target for major cyber attacks, lasting several days over the recent Christmas weekend. Hackers calling themselves Lizard Squad who are known for launching massive DDoS attacks took responsibility for the attacks.