Briton held over Sony cyber attacks

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Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

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An 18-year-old man has been arrested in a joint British and FBI-led operation following cyber attacks on Sony PlayStation and Xbox systems last year.

The teenager was held today in Southport, Merseyside, on suspicion of unauthorised access to computer material.

He was also detained for alleged unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences and threats to kill, the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) said.

Investigators, supported by the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), said the operation also focused on alleged “swatting” offences.

So-called swatting involves a person or a group providing false information online to law enforcement agencies in the US, suggesting a threat exists so police respond with tactical units.

Electronic and digital devices were seized by officers who arrested the teenager in Boundary Street, Southport.

Craig Jones, head of the Cyber Crime Unit at SEROCU, said: “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.

“Offences referred to as ‘swatting’ involve law enforcement forces in the United States receiving hoax calls via Skype for a major incident in which Swat teams were dispatched.

“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.

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

Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman, the national policing lead for cyber security at the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said it was a “significant” arrest.

He said: “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.

“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 and enjoyment of the opportunities the world wide web provides.”

Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

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