Last week the UK National Crime Agency arrested 56 suspected hackers during what has been dubbed an information security “strike week”.
There were 25 raids in total – the largest taking place in London and Essex (in which 25 men were arrested for money laundering over the web).
The operations were organised and executed by the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), the Metropolitan Police and Regional Organised Crime Unit’s (ROCUs).
The hackers who were targeted were monitored for some time. These raids have demonstrated heightened competency on the part of the law enforcement agencies when it comes to repressing cyber-criminality and improving information security.
Men who have been accused of high profile cyber attacks were also the targets of police raids.
To learn more about recent hacking activities check out our blog: Sony hacking Crisis deepens – Secure Data Management
Cracking Down on High-Profile Information Security Breaches
A man was arrested in connection with the Yahoo mail hack in 2012 – when 450,000 users had their email addresses and passwords published online.
A 23-year old man who is believed to be behind the hack that infiltrated the U.S Department of Defence last June has also been arrested.
The man hacked into the U.S Department of Defence “Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services” system, allowing the hacker to view the contact information of 800 people along with details of 34,000 devices.
Hackers Are Predominantly Young Males
The youngest hacker to be arrested in the raids was a 16 year-old who is suspected of orchestrating hundreds of attacks. The majority of the cyber-criminals are under the age of 25 and are male.
Members of some of the most well known hacking groups in the UK were also picked up by law enforcement agencies, including a man from Leeds who is believed to be a part of Lizard Squad, a hacking group that has claimed responsibility for shutting down Instagram and Tinder.
The group has often claimed that its hacks are carried out in order to highlight businesses’ information security weaknesses.
Those who have masterminded a whole variety of cyber-attacks were targeted, a reminder of the diversity of cyber-criminality that law enforcers and businesses now have to deal with. According to the BBC:
‘The other actions targeted alleged phishing gangs, intellectual property thieves, users of financial malware, companies that offer hosting services to crime groups, and many people who took part in so-called DDoS [distributed denial of service] attacks in an attempt to knock websites offline.’
The “strike week” also consisted of information desks being set up to offer information to the public on how to keep their own data secure online.
These pop-up shops could be found in London, Derby, Manchester and Reading. Experts at the shops were offering free security checks for any member of the public that had their devices on them.
Business Data Security Must Improve as the Cyber Threat Grows
The NSA has continually highlighted the importance of collaboration and communication when it comes to improving information security. They have urged anyone to step forward if they feel they have been the victim of a cyber attack.
The “strike week” shows that the UK is becoming more vigilant when it comes to matters relating to information security and hopefully this crack down will further prove just how important information security is to businesses and the public across the country.
With increasing threats and more severe government intervention, effective data security and backup cannot be overlooked by businesses for much longer.