Second UK man arrested following PlayStation and Xbox DDOS attacks

18-year-old also charged with swatting offences.

An 18-year-old UK man has been arrested as part of an investigation into the recent DDOS attacks that crippled PlayStation and Xbox services over Christmas. (UPDATE: A day later, he was released on bail.)


BBC News reports that the man was arrested in Southport, near Liverpool, and charged with unauthorised access to computer material.

A second charge levied against him related to knowingly providing false information to law enforcement agencies in the the US - in other words, the act of swatting.

The arrest is part of a joint operation between the three UK cybercrime units and the US FBI.

"Offences referred to as 'swatting' involve law enforcement forces in the United States receiving hoax calls via Skype for a major incident in which Swat teams were dispatched," UK cyber cop Craig Jones said.

"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."

Both Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network suffered significant periods of downtime over Christmas when a group calling itself Lizard Squad struck both services with a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack.

Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners were unable to log in, play online games or use online apps for around 24 hours.

PlayStation 3, 4 and Vita owners were unable to log in, play online games or create new PlayStation accounts for several days.

A 22-year-old man from Twickenham believed to be linked to Lizard Squad was arrested at his home on 31st December. He was later released on bail until 10th March.

While the man's arrest was directly due to Paypal fraud offenses between 2013 and August 2014, online reports subsequently identified the 22-year-old as Vinnie Omari, who has been linked to Lizard Squad and its attacks.

The online hacking collective has been responsible for a number of DDOS attacks, swatting attempts and other illegal activities over the past 12 months - including at one point issuing a hoax bomb threat against Sony Online Entertainment's boss Johnathan Smedley.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


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