FBI and UK police arrest alleged Xbox and PlayStation Lizard Squad hacker

A teenager has been arrested in Merseyside following a UK and FBI joint operation relating to the attacks on PlayStation and Xbox systems in December 2014.

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) revealed that an 18-year-old man was detained on 16 January in Southport, near Liverpool, on suspicion of accessing computer material without authorisation.

Further charges include intent to commit further hacking offences, threats to kill, and providing false information online to US law enforcement, suggesting that a threat exists which requires the intervention of armed tactical units.

It is unclear whether the arrest is directly related to the Lizard Squad attacks on Christmas Day which left many Xbox and PlayStation users unable to play games that required access to the companies' servers.

A number of the teenager's electronic and digital devices have been seized and will be examined by SEROCU's Cyber Crime Forensic and eForensics Unit.

This is the second arrest that appears to be related to December's cyber attacks, after thedetaining of a 22-year-old man by Thames Valley Police on suspicion of having links to Lizard Squad.

Craig Jones, head of the Cyber Crime Unit at SEROCU, said that the investigation is a good example of a joint law enforcement cooperation tackling "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 who commit offences and hold them to account," he added.

"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."

Deputy chief constable Peter Goodman, national policing lead for cyber security at the Association of Police Officers, echoed Jones' statement.

"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," he said.

Goodman also indicated that UK law enforcement is taking a hard line on cyber crime and hacker attacks, and called on the technology industry and the public to aid the police by implementing their own cyber security measures.

"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," he said.

"As we continue to build capability and develop skills across wider policing, we still need industry, communities and individuals to protect themselves by implementing basic security measures whilst taking full advantage of the opportunities the [internet] provides."

The UK and US are staging joint cyber ‘war games' as part of a wider move to coordinate anti-hacking efforts.

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  • Origin: GhAgent