DDoS Attacks Land 51-Year-Old UK Hacker Under Arrest

It’s all fun and games until you get caught, right? Well, in the eyes of the United Kingdom it’s never just fun and games when it comes to hacking. A 51-year-old man from Merseyside is now facing serious jail time for his distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that happened in 2013.

Ian Sullivan is the hacker in question that targeted a series of websites such as support services for children undergoing adoption or divorced parents, crime reporting sites and social housing organizations. Sullivan also targeted multinational banks, but because the attacks were DDoS in nature no sensitive data was lifted.

According to reports, more than 300 websites were made inaccessible by Sullivan. After two years in since the original arrest by the National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCA/NCCU) and the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit’s Titan (NWROCU), Sullivan is set to be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court at the beginning of May.

Steven Pye, the senior operations manager at the NCCU, said the following upon the closing sentencing date.

“Among other impacts, Sullivan’s actions are likely to have deprived vulnerable people of access to important information, ranging from where to get support on family breakup, to reporting crime anonymously.”

The arresting agencies said that Sullivan was connected to the DDoS attacks over tweets he wrote and published on his personal account, referencing the actions.

“This multi-agency operation illustrates the commitment of the NCA and its partners to pursuing people who think they can criminally disrupt important public services or legitimate businesses.”

United Kingdom Cracking Down on DDoS Attacks

hacker arrestIn mid-January, Hacked reporter P.H. Madore covered a story about a hacker in Southport that was arrested for similar DDoS attacks. The hacker is suspected to be a member of the infamous Lizard Squad and helped take down the Xbox Live and PlayStation networks on Christmas Day.

The arrest was made on Jan. 16 under the Computer Misuse Act of 1990, Section One. The 18-year-old accused of the DDoS attacks is also accused of “swatting” at least once – the act of calling the SWAT team to and posing as a terrorist, forcing them to storm whichever address given to them.

The United Kingdom seems to be cracking down on hackers who operate with malicious intent, whether they are young like the Lizard Squad member or older like Sullivan.

DDoS is treated as a serious threat in the United Kingdom, as Kaspersky Lab calculated the financial effects on companies who suffer from DDoS attacks. According to Kaspersky, DDoS attacks could potentially cause a financial loss of $400,000.

Images from Shutterstock.

Clay Gillespie a writer and reporter for many different platforms across the tech industry. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Ball State University, and freelances for different clients in technology and cryptocurrency. For more information, visit his personal website, claygillespie.com.