UK Teenager Arrested in PlayStation, Xbox Hack

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A UK man (teenager) was arrested in a joint operation between the FBI and UK police for Christmas Day hack.

An 18-year-old man in the northwest of England was arrested for his part in the Christmas Day hacking of Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network which kept tens of millions from accessing the gaming portals. Presumably, the attack was made to coincide with a number of people unwrapping new consoles and looking to connect and create additional mess.

PlayStation, Xbox Hack: The Lizard Squad and “swatting”

The unidentified member of the Lizard Squad that claimed responsibility for the denial of service attacks was arrested for said attacks as well as “swatting” and making death threats. “Swatting” is the vernacular for using Skype and other VOIP services to U.S. police and encouraging the deployment of a SWAT team to a faux “life or death” situation.

The arrest was made in Southport, a seaside town not far from Liverpool.

Officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit worked with the FBI in the raid that put the man into custody. The two organizations will now sort through the electronics seized on 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,” said Craig Jones, Head of the Cyber Crime Unit at SEROCU.

“Cyber crime is an issue which has no boundaries and affects people on a local, regional and global level,” he added.

Why today?

Coincidentally, or perhaps not at all, the arrest was made on the same day that President Obama and PM David Cameron held a joint press conference in Washington DCon cyber security and other security threats. That meeting, however, given the attack in Paris and the raids throughout Belgium yesterday primarily focused on terrorism in the traditional sense.

Prior to Cameron’s arrival, the Prime Minister announced that the U.S and U.K had scheduled a series of cyber “war games” involving a “cybercell” made up of officials from the FBI and the National Security Agency as well as Britain’s GCHQ and MI5 intelligence and security agencies. The first of these exercises will focus on and simulate an attack on the financial sectors based in New York and London.

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