Man held in US cyber attack probe


Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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A suspected hacker from Britain has been arrested in connection with an alleged cyber attack on the United States Department of Defence (DoD) as part of a week-long UK-wide operation.

The 23-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers in Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands, on suspicion of offences linked to data stolen from a messaging service used by DoD employees around the world.

Contact information for around 800 people including name, title, e-mail addresses and phone numbers, as well as details for around 34,400 devices were obtained during the attack last June, the NCA said.

Following the attack, the hacker posted screenshots taken from the dashboard used to control the database as well as a bizarre message on the text storage website Pastebin.

It read: “We smite the Lizards, LizardSquad your time is near. We’re in your bases, we control your satellites.

“The missiles shall rein upon thy who claim alliance, watch your heads, ** T-47:59:59 until lift off. We’re one, we’re many, we lurk in the dark, we’re everywhere and anywhere.

“Live Free Die Hard! DoD, DISA EMSS : Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services is not all, Department of Defense has no Defenses.”

The stolen data was used as part of an international satellite message dissemination system known as Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services.

It also included IMEI numbers, which are the unique codes used to identify a mobile device.

No sensitive data was obtained and none of the data obtained could be used to personally identify anyone or threaten US national security, the NCA added.

More than 40 arrests have been made this week by the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit at more than 20 separate locations across England, Wales and Scotland as part of a week of activity targeting cyber crime.

Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: ” Behind this week’s activity is the message that all of us, as individuals, businesses or law enforcement agencies, have a role to play in making the UK a safe place to enjoy the huge opportunities provided by the internet.

“Awareness of the type of cyber crime dangers which are out there is vital, whoever you are, as is collaboration between organisations across different sectors, regions and countries to develop the most effective ways of combating those threats.

“We will continue to work with partners to pursue and disrupt the major crime groups targeting the UK, but also, crucially, to make the UK as difficult as possible a target for cyber criminals in the first place.”

Jeffrey Thorpe, special agent in charge, at the US Department of Defence criminal investigative service (DCIS), said: ” This arrest underscores DCIS commitment and the joint ongoing efforts among international law enforcement to stop cyber criminals in their tracks. DCIS special agents will use every tool at their disposal to pursue and bring to justice those that attack the Department of Defence.”

Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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