January 16, 2015 / 1:27 PM / 3 years ago

British police arrest man over Christmas Xbox, Playstation hacks

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said on Friday they had arrested a man in northwest England following the 2014 cyber attacks on Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox systems.

People walk past the Playstation and Xbox booths at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, in Los Angeles, California June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

Both systems suffered long outages over Christmas after a major distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack. A hacking group calling itself Lizard Squad, which had attacked the two networks earlier last year, claimed responsibility.

“Officers ... have arrested a man in Southport, Merseyside this morning as part of an investigation into ‘swatting’ and computer hacking offences,” Merseyside police said in a statement.

The officers had worked closely with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the operation, it added.

No further details of the arrest were immediately available.

Swatting is a term used to describe criminal activity by an individual or group who provide 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.

Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by Kate Holton

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