British authorities have arrested a second man in England and seized electronic and digital devices in connection with a recent spate of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks aimed at Sony and Microsoft.

GamesBeat reported on the initial attacks over Christmas, after which the FBI revealed it was investigating Lizard Squad, an online group that claimed responsibility for knocking PlayStation Network (PSN) and Xbox Live offline. A 22-year-old London man was subsequently arrested.

A DDoS attack essentially overwhelms the target with a deluge of random data, causing the network to crash. In this case, the effect of the attack meant that PlayStation and Xbox gamers couldn’t access online services.

Now, the U.K.’s South East Regional Organized Crime Unit (SEROCU) has revealed that it swooped in on an 18-year-old man this morning, who lived in the small seaside town of Southport, which is near Liverpool. Law enforcement arrested him on suspicion of the following crimes:


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  • Unauthorized access to computer material contrary to Section 1 of Computer Misuse Act 1990.
  • Unauthorized access with intent to commit further offences contrary to Section 2 of Computer Misuse Act 1990.
  • Threats to kill contrary to Section 16 of Offenses Against the Person Act 1861.

It’s not clear at this juncture whether the man arrested is a member of the Lizard Squad hacker collective.

Joint effort

Titan ROCU (North West Regional Organised Crime Unit) supported the SEROCU Cyber Crime Unit in the arrest, though it also worked closely with the FBI for the broader operation.

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

It’s worth adding here that some of the accusations leveled at the arrested man include so-called “swatting,” which is when someone tricks law enforcement agencies into dispatching emergency services based on false claims or threats. In this case, authorities in the U.S. received hoax Skype calls, which led to the deployment of SWAT teams.

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