57 Arrested in Cybercrime Clampdown

The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) recently announced that 57 people were arrested between March 2 and 6, 2015 in 25 separate operations targeting cybercriminals involved in network intrusion and data theft, DDoS attacks, cyber-enabled fraud, and malware development.

Those arrested include the following:

  • a 21-year-old man arrested on suspicion of a network intrusion attack committed by the ‘D33Ds Company’ hacking group, which stole over 400,000 email addresses and passwords from Yahoo! and published them online in 2012
  • a 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of developing and distributing malware
  • a 20-year-old male arrested on suspicion of committing a ?15,000 phishing attack
  • a 27-year-old arrested on suspicion of cyber-enabled fraud
  • a 25-year-old man arrested on suspicion of deploying malware against banks resulting in financial losses
  • a 16-year-old male arrested for suspected Computer Misuse Act offences concerning the use of DDoS attacks believed to target approximately 350 websites
  • two men, aged 38 and 29 years, arrested for suspected conspiracy and Computer Misuse Act offenses relating to the theft of valuable intellectual property from a London financial company
  • 25 suspects arrested on suspicion of cyber-enabled fraud offences, including fraud by false representation, theft and money laundering
  • an 18-year-old man suspected of being responsible for the development and administration of the Titanium and Avenger stressor tools which have been used in DDoS attacks on public sector websites, including police
  • a 22-year-old man and a 59-year old woman suspected of offences relating to cyber-enabled fraud targeting high street retailer loyalty point schemes
  • a 22-yr-old man suspected of offences relating to cyber-enabled fraud
  • five men aged 40, 39, 38, 36 and 34 years arrested for conspiracy to commit computer misuse offences, in relation to a network intrusion attack
  • a 58-yr-old man suspected of network intrusion and DDoS offences
  • a 21-year-old man arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences relating to a DDoS attack on the Police Scotland website
  • a 51-yr-old man arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences relating to a network intrusion
  • a 33-yr-old man suspected of a DDoS attack on a rival company for competitive advantage
  • three suspects arrested on suspicion of a number of Computer Misuse Act Offences

A 23-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of involvement in a June 2014 network intrusion at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The breach exposed data used as part of an international satellite messaging system leveraged by DoD employees to communicate worldwide.

“The data loss consisted of non-confidential contact information for approximately 800 people including name, title, e-mail addresses and phone numbers,” the NCA noted following the arrest. “It also included device information for approximately 34,400 devices including 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 as personally identifiable information or compromise US national security interests.”

The U.K. Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) also recently set up cyber security pop-up shops in London, Reading, Derby and Manchester, where members of the public could bring digital devices for free health checks, and get advice on online banking, virus protection and protecting themselves online.

“Criminals need to realise that committing crime online will not make them anonymous to law enforcement,” Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said in a statement. “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.”

“Cybercrime is not victimless,” said Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman, National Policing Lead for Cybercrime. “A high-end cyber-attack against financial institutions could have a far-reaching impact on our economy. Small and medium sized businesses can be bankrupted by a cyber-attack with owners and staff losing their jobs. You could be seriously affected by the publication of your personal information.”

“We are transforming our response to cybercrime,” Goodman added. “We now have an effective national cybercrime unit and regional units tackling this crime, who have worked together this week to target those who are using the Internet to steal, commit fraud or impact on organisations’ ability to do their business.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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