A man has been arrested as part of the investigation into the denial of service attacks of Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox systems last Christmas.
Officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) Cyber Crime Unit, supported by Titan ROCU (North West Regional Organised Crime Unit), have arrested a man as part of an investigation into ‘swatting’ and computer hacking offences.
‘Swatting’ is a term used to describe criminal activity by an individual or group who knowingly provides false information to law enforcement agencies in the USA, suggesting that a threat exists at a particular location so that police respond with tactical units.
The unnamed 18-year-old man was arrested this morning in Southport on suspicion of: unauthorised access to computer material contrary to section 1 of Computer Misuse Act 1990; unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences contrary to section 2 of Computer Misuse Act 1990; and threats to kill contrary to Section 16 of Offences against the person Act 1861.
Craig Jones, Head of the Cyber Crime Unit at SEROCU, said: “This investigation is a good example of joint law enforcement cooperation in relation to a type of criminality that is not restricted by any geographical boundaries.
“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.”
DCC Peter Goodman, national policing lead for Cyber Security at the Association of Police Officers (ACPO), said: “This is a significant arrest by the South East regional Cyber Crime Unit, supported by North West policing colleagues, of a UK citizen suspected of engaging in serious and organised cyber crime on the national and international stage.
“The cyber crime investigative capability I am overseeing across the Regional Organised Crime Units increasingly allows policing to undertake such complex investigations as a networked specialist resource, and in collaboration with international law enforcement partners, as in this case the FBI. This arrest demonstrates that we will pursue those who commit crime with the false perception they are protected within their own homes or hiding behind anonymous online personas.”
Two other men were arrested at the start of this month in London and Finland, after both gaming networks were taken offline for several days, with the PlayStation Network attack believed to have lasted for four days.