Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Man held over cyber attack on US

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 by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers in Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands, on Wednesday 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, email 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 information was taken from 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 were obtained and none of the data obtained could be used to identify anyone or threaten US national security, the NCA added.

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."

Some 57 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.

Crime-fighters visited 60 businesses, with personalised security data reports, identifying 5,531 compromises on servers within the UK.

The compromises could be used to send out spam email, launch attacks against websites or servers, or install phishing websites to gain access to sensitive information.

A 16-year-old in Leeds believed to have carried out hundreds of cyber attacks on businesses and a family of suspected fraudsters are among 35 people arrested by the Metropolitan Police.

They recovered evidence including laptops, mobile phones and financial documents and seized around £7,000 cash.

The 16-year-old boy was bailed to return to a police station on a date in early June.

Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit, said: " The 57 arrests around the country this week are a result of the essential partnership activity with law enforcement, industry and government that is at the heart of fighting cybercrime.

"Criminals need to realise that committing crime online will not make them anonymous to law enforcement.

"We are continuously working to track down and apprehend those seeking to utilise computers for criminal ends, and to disrupt the technical networks and infrastructures supporting international cyber crime.

"It's imperative that we continue to work with partners to pursue and disrupt the major crime groups targeting the UK, but also, crucially, work to make sure that people have the knowledge and resources to make the UK as inhospitable as possible for cyber criminals in the first place."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph