UK: 57 arrested for cyber crime, including US DoD hacker

Last week was a busy one for UK law enforcement, as agents from the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) of the National Crime Agency (NCA) spearheaded a nationwide cyber crime “strike week” that resulted in the arrest of 57 people in 25 separate operations.

The arrested individuals have participated in DDoS attacks, phishing schemes, cyber-enabled fraud, theft of intellectual property, network intrusions, and the development and distribution of malware (for more details about the operations go here).

Among them is a 23-year old man from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands who is suspected of having breached the networks of the US Department of Defense in June 2014.

“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 to communicate with employees via email or phone around the world,” the NCA shared.

“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.”

The suspect then posted evidence of the hack on Pastebin, along with a message taunting the Lizard Squad hackers.

This strike week was also completed with Ten Regional Organised Crime Units, Police Scotland and Police Service of Northern Ireland visiting some 60 businesses whose servers within the UK have been compromised.

“The compromises could be used to send out spam email, launch attacks against websites or servers, or install phishing websites to gain access to sensitive information. The NCA estimates that organisations acting on this advice could, between them, clean up to half of the phishing attacks that typically originate from the UK each month,” they noted.

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