An 18-year-old has been arrested in England for his alleged involvement in denial-of-service attacks that crippled Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network over the winter holidays. In a denial of service attack, loads of bogus traffic are sent to a targeted server in hopes of knocking it offline.
The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit, a regional law enforcement agency in England said Friday that the man was arrested on suspicion of unauthorized access to computer material, unauthorized access with intent to commit further offenses and threats to kill.
The teen is also accused of “swatting,” or purposefully providing false information about a crime to law enforcement so that they respond to a location with tactical units. The head of the SEROCU’s cyber crime unit said that the 18-year-old had made hoax calls to U.S. officials using Skype, which lead to SWAT teams being deployed unnecessarily. The SEROCU said it has been working closely with the FBI on the case.
Both Xbox Live and PlayStation network were knocked offline Christmas Day due to denial-of-service attacks that prevented console owners from playing certain games online or streaming movies. A hacking group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attacks.