German federal police say British hacker arrested in London

February 23, 2017

A 29-year-old Briton was taken into custody in London on a European arrest warrant issued by Germany on suspicion of a carrying out a cyberattack on Deutsche Telekom, federal police said Thursday.

Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office, or BKA, said the man, whose name wasn't released, is suspected of conducting a cyberattack on an internet access router in November that meant more than 1 million Deutsche Telekom customers couldn't go online.

Cologne prosecutors, who are handling the case, called the attack "an especially severe case of computer sabotage," saying the nationwide hack threatened critical communication infrastructures.

The suspect, who was arrested Wednesday at a London airport, allegedly planned to hack the router to integrate it into a networked "botnet" for cybercrimes, the BKA said in a statement. A botnet is a number of internet-connected devices used to perform various tasks including sending spam or stealing data.

German prosecutors said the Briton allegedly offered to sell the botnet over the so-called darknet—an area of cyberspace invisible on the open internet often used for illegal activity—for "attack scenarios like so-called DDoS attacks."

A DDoS, or "Distributed Denial of Service," attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.

Explore further: UK police arrest 16-year-old over Talk Talk telecoms hack

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