PlayStation/Xbox Christmas Day attacker out on bail

News by Doug Drinkwater

An 18-year-old  man from Southport, near Liverpool, has been released on bail after being arrested in connection with the distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) and Xbox Live on Christmas Day.

The man was arrested last Friday in a joint British and FBI—led operation. He was suspected of unauthorised access to computer material and was also detained for alleged unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences, as well as threats to kill. His electronic devices have been seized, but he has now been released on bail.

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (Serocu) co-ordinated the arrest with the North West Regional Crime (Rocu), although the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) was also involved. A Serocu spokesman said about the news: "An 18-year-old man arrested for 'swatting' and denial of service offences has been released on bail."

Swatting refers to a person or group providing false information online to law enforcement agencies in the US.

This is the second UK man to be detained in connection with the Xbox/Sony hacks, following Thames Valley Police's arrest of 22-year-old Vincent Omari at the start of the year. Omari, who  apparently goes by the online alias ‘Twickenham' is believed to be a member or spokesman of the Lizard Squad group which is believed to be behind the DDoS attacks. However, he has been charged with stealing funds from PayPal for over a year.

The Thames Valley Police Department said at the time: “The arrest yesterday (30/12) is in connection with an on-going investigation in to cyber-fraud offences which took place between 2013 and August 2014 during which victims reported funds being stolen from their PayPal accounts.”

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews