Southport man arrested for 'swatting'
and denial of service offences
AN 18 year old man was arrested by the National Cyber
Crime Unit (NCCU), worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI), on 16.1.2015, at an address in Boundary Street, Southport, Merseyside,
UK. The male was arrested suspicion of unauthorised access to computer material
contrary to:- 'Section
1 of Computer Misuse Act 1990',
unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences contrary to
2 of Computer Misuse Act 1990'
and threats to kill contrary to:- 'Section
16 of Offences against the Person Act
1861'. As a result of this arrest, TV and reporters from all over have arrived at a
popular English seaside resort.
Merseyside Police have told the media that
Merseyside Police as well as Titan North West Regional Organised Crime Unit
are:- "not involved in the investigation" and they will:-
"not be commenting to the media on this matter."
The investigation, we are told, is
being conducted by Police Officers from the South East Regional Organised Crime
Unit (SEROCU) Cyber Crime Unit, supported by Titan ROCU (North West Regional
Organised Crime Unit).
We have also been told that SEROCU, has been working closely with
the FBI on the operation and they have been focusing the investigation on the denial of service attack
of Sony Playstation and Xbox systems in 2014, along with
'swatting' offences. This arrest
was part of that investigation.
If readers do not know what 'Swatting' is, it is a term used to
describe criminal activity, by an individual or group, who knowingly provides
false information to Law Enforcement Agencies in the USA, suggesting that a
threat exists at a particular location so that Police respond with Tactical
Units. In the US, Tactical Units are often referred to as 'SWAT'.
Making false threats drains Law Enforcement Resources and can cause significant
distress or physical injury to first responders or victims.
On the raids a number of electronic and digital devices were seized to be
examined by both SEROCU's Cyber Crime Forensic and eForensics Unit.
Craig Jones, Head of the Cyber Crime Unit at SEROCU, said:- "This
investigation is a good example of joint law enforcement cooperation in relation
to a type of criminality that is not restricted by any geographical boundaries.
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
to 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. I would
like to urge everyone to check their home and business computer security and
follow the advice available on sites such as:-
GetSafeOnline.Org. Finally I would ask anyone
who has information in regards to cyber offences to report them to
Action Fraud at or anonymously calling
Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111 or go to them
DCC Peter Goodman, National Policing Lead for Cyber Security at the Association
of Police Officers (ACPO), said:- "This is a significant arrest by the
South East regional Cyber Crime Unit, supported by North West policing
colleagues, of a UK citizen suspected of engaging in serious and organised cyber
crime on the national and international stage. The cyber crime investigative
capability I am overseeing across the Regional Organised Crime Units
increasingly allows policing toundertake such complex investigations as a
networked specialist resource, and in collaboration with international law
enforcement partners, as in this case the FBI. 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 the
opportunities the world wide web provides."
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