British authorities arrest 18-year-old on suspicion of hacking Sony

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An 18-year-old man was arrested Friday in Southport, northwest England in connection with hacking offences against Sony Playstation and Xbox systems in 2014, British authorities said Friday.

Officers from the South East Regional Organized Crime Unit (SEROCU) arrested the man as part of an investigation into "swatting" and computer hacking offences.

"Swatting" is a term used to describe criminal activity by an individual or group who knowingly provides false information to law enforcement agencies in the United States, suggesting that a threat exists at a particular location so that police respond with tactical units.

"SEROCU has worked closely with the FBI on the operation which focused on the denial of service attack of Sony Playstation and Xbox systems in 2014 and 'swatting' offences," SEROCU said in a statement.

The man was suspected of "unauthorized access to computer material," "unauthorized access with intent to commit further offences," and "threats to kill," the statement said.

A number of electronic and digital devices were seized to be examined by SEROCU's Cyber Crime Forensic and "eForensics" Unit.

"We are still at the early stages of the investigation. We will continue to work closely with the FBI to identify those to who commit offences and hold them to account," said Craig Jones, head of the cyber crime unit at SEROCU.

Services provided by Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox systems were disabled by alleged cyber attacks on Christmas Day in 2014, making it difficult for online users to log on. Endit

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