A U.K. teenager was arrested this morning following cyberattacks on the PlayStation and Xbox networks. The move comes after a joint investigation between the FBI and British authorities, and it has been described as a “significant” arrest by police.
It’s unclear at this point whether the arrest, which took place in Southport, Merseyside, is related to the DDoS attack that brought down the Sony Entertainment Network and Xbox Live over the holiday period, leaving millions of gamers unable to use their new systems online.
But police have confirmed the arrest was made on suspicion of unauthorized access to computer material. The 18-year-old male was also detained for alleged threats to kill, according to the South East Regional Organized Crime Unit.
Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman, the lead for cyber security at the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the arrest should be a warning to those who commit cybercrime with the belief that they are anonymous online.
“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,” Goodman told Sky News. He also urged companies and individuals to use basic security measures to protect themselves online.
The joint investigation has also focused on “swatting” offenses in the U.S., which is when hoax calls are made about major incidents, causing SWAT teams to be dispatched.