A "strike week" against suspected hackers by the UK's National Crime Agency has resulted in 57 arrests.
Those arrested are suspected of being involved in a wide variety of cybercrimes such as fraud and virus writing. The suspects – arrested in 25 operations across the UK – face charges including network intrusion and data theft from multinational companies and government agencies, running Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and creating malware.
A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a network intrusion attack committed by "D33Ds Company" hacking group, which stole over 400,000 email addresses and passwords from Yahoo! and published them back in 2012. Separately a 23 year-old from Sutton Coldfield was brought in for questioning over a hack against the US Department of Defence back in June 2014, as a separate statement on what looks like the most serious of the offences under investigation explains.
The network intrusion (hacking) attack occurred on 15 June 2014 and obtained data used as part of an international satellite message dissemination system (Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services) used by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to communicate with employees via email or phone around the world.
The data loss consisted of non-confidential contact information for approximately 800 people including name, title, e-mail addresses and phone numbers. 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.
Following the attempt the hacker responsible posted screenshots taken of the dashboard used to control the database as well as the following text on the Pastebin website.
Elsewhere a 16-year-old male was hauled in over his suspected involvement in DDoS attacks against approximately 350 websites.
Various ISPs reckoned to be acting as hosts for criminal infrastructure have been raided. An NCA statement itemising the numerous raids and associated arrests can be found here. The NCA seems to have timed the mass arrests to maximise the impact of its message that it come down hard against cybercrime. The material it has released include video clips of raids in actions featuring pixelated policemen seizing equipment at an address and cuffing a man in a hoodie.
Simon Dukes, chief executive of Cifas, the UK's Fraud Prevention Service, commented:
“Fraudsters are sophisticated and will use every chance that they get to pilfer funds from individuals and organisations. This strike by the NCA sends a positive message that the UK is not a safe place for online criminals to operate. But these arrests are just the first step."
"The public must have faith that where these crimes have occurred they will be prosecuted, and that fraudsters and online criminals will be punished appropriately," he added. ®