UK police make arrest related to denial of service attack on Playstation and Xbox networks

The police seized equipment and arrested an 18-year-old man on Friday

U.K. police have arrested a man they believe was involved in the denial-of-service attacks directed at PlayStation Network and Xbox Live at end of last year.

Proud new owners of PlayStation and Xbox consoles weren't able to or had trouble accessing Sony's and Microsoft's networks starting on Christmas day as a result of the attack, which the hacking group Lizard Squad took responsibility for.

Authorities around the world have since been working to apprehend the people involved. The U.K. South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) said on Friday it had collaborated closely with the FBI to arrest an 18-year-old man in Southport, a seaside town located 20 miles north of Liverpool.

A number of "electronic and digital devices" were seized and will be examined by SEROCU's Cyber Crime Forensic and eForensics Unit, according to a statement. It wasn't clear if the unnamed teen is a member of Lizard Squad.

In addition to the attacks against Sony and Microsoft, the man was arrested on suspicion of so-called swatting offenses, which refer to people who knowingly provide false information to law enforcement agencies in the U.S., according to the statement. In this case, the swatting was related to a series of hoax calls via Skype that resulted in a major incident where SWAT (Special and Weapons and Tactics) teams were dispatched, the statement said.

The police didn't immediately offer any details on how or even if the swatting and denial of service offenses were related. The allegations are related to unauthorized access to computer material, unauthorized access with intent to commit further offenses and threats to kill, according to the statement.

"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 offenses and hold them to account," said Craig Jones, head of the Cyber Crime Unit at SEROCU.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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