This morning, an 18-year-old from the U.K. was arrested in Southport, outside Liverpool, after being connected with the attacks on the PlayStation and Xbox networks over the holidays.
Along with allegedly being connected to the attacks, he is being charged with knowingly providing false information to law enforcement agencies in the United States. The teenager was discovered after a joint investigation between the FBI and UK cyber crime unit.
Craig Jones, head of the Cyber Crime Unit at Serocu, explained the success of the operation was due to international police units working as a whole. “This investigation is a good example of joint law enforcement co-operation in relation to a type of criminality that is not restricted by any geographical boundaries,” Jones said. “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 who commit offenses and hold them to account.”
The suspect used a technique known as swatting, the practice of contacting the police with false information in order to elicit an armed response, the BBC reported. The UK cyber crime unit picked up on the suspects activity, and found a connection to the attacks that took place over Christmas. “Offenses referred to as ‘swatting’ involve law enforcement forces in the United States,” Jones said. “Receiving hoax calls via Skype for a major incident in which Swat teams were dispatched.”
The hacking group known as Lizard Squad initially took credit for the attack, and with this morning’s arrest, the police are hopeful they will be able to find out the facts surrounded this case.
Were you or anyone you know affected in anyway by the attacks over the holidays? Hopefully this arrest will lead to a decline in cyber attacks and hacking.