A 17-year-old from Manchester has been arrested by the Metropolitan Police's e-crime unit (PCeU) on suspicion of being behind a denial of service attack against the online game Call of Duty.
The teenager was arrested in the Beswick area of Manchester early on Thursday morning.
He is suspected of involvement in denial of service attacks which severely disrupted the online version of the game, and the playtime of many other players, in September. Distributed denial of service attacks are currently being used against the websites of Sarah Palin, Mastercard and other perceived "enemies of Wikileaks and Julian Assange".
The game's publisher, Activision, contacted police after the attacks.
The investigation by PCeU found the DDoS attack was made using a malicious program called "Phenom Booter".
Police found the malware being offered for sale on a web forum for Call of Duty players to allow them to attack other players of the game and thereby improve their own scores.
Police tracked the server to the UK and finally via its IP number to Greater Manchester.
The 17-year-old is still in custody and has been arrested on suspicion of offences against the Computer Misuse Act.
DI Paul Hoare of the PCeU said online gaming was a major retail sector so software aimed at disrupting such games could have commercial implications for the companies concerned, and for their reputations.
He also said: "This type of crime can often be the precursor to further offending in more traditional areas of online crime." ®