Officers from the Regional Cyber Crime Team have this week targeted registrants of hacking group Lizard Squad’s Lizard Stresser tool; software that allowed users to pay to take websites offline for up to eight hours at a time.
The tool worked by using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which flood web servers or websites with massive amounts of data, leaving them inaccessible to users.
Operation Vivarium was coordinated by the National Crime Agency (NCA), and involved officers from various police forces including the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU’s) cyber crime team (NERCCU).
NERCCU officers including the newly appointed ‘Protect Officer’ visited two addresses in the Sunderland area which were linked to individuals registered on the Lizard Stresser website, but who are not currently believed to have carried out DDoS attacks. The Protect/Prevent strategy is something at the forefront of Cyber Crime, evidenced by the creation of a dedicated role; aimed at providing guidance and advice to businesses and the education sector in how to protect themselves from cyber attacks.
This activity forms part NERSOU and its partners’ wider work to address people at risk of entering into serious forms of cyber crime. Those receiving visits were told that DDoS attacks are illegal, can prevent individuals from accessing vital online services, and can cause significant financial and reputational damage to businesses. They will also be informed that committing cyber crime can result in severe restrictions on their freedom, access to the internet, digital devices and future career prospects.
With approximately 30% of UK businesses reporting that they’ve suffered a DDoS attack in the last year, NERCCU continue to remind businesses to take steps to protect themselves. The government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme provides guidance on how to guard against and mitigate threats from cyber crime. Further advice on staying safe online can be found on Cyberstreetwise.com and Getsafeonline.org. “