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UK police make second arrest over Xbox and PlayStation network attacks

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An 18-year-old UK man has been linked to the attacks that took down Sony and Microsoft's gaming networks last year. This morning, the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) reported that it had arrested an unnamed teen in Southport on suspicion of "unauthorized access to computer material" and "threats to kill." The arrest was part of a joint investigation by SEROCU and the FBI, which have been attempting to find members of the "Lizard Squad," an online collective that launched a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network over the holidays. The attack made Microsoft's network unavailable for several hours, and Sony's stayed down for three days, including Christmas.

The 18-year-old is the second person UK police have arrested over the Lizard Squad attacks: on December 31st, they announced the arrest of 22-year-old Vinnie Omari, who will appear in court two months from now. A Finnish teenager was reportedly also questioned by the country's National Bureau of Investigation. The head of SEROCU's computer crime unit says that its investigation is still in the "early stages," so it's possible more arrests will be coming.

Perhaps more interestingly, the man wasn't just arrested for DDoS attacks. He's also suspected of "swatting," the practice of making fake police calls to get SWAT teams dispatched to a victim's house. There's little detail beyond that, but SEROCU describes swatting specifically as calling US police. A few swatting attacks have made the news recently, but they're too common for anyone to speculate on what he might have been involved in without any further information. It's unknown when the man will appear in court, or when charges might be filed.