Police secretly arrested a London-based teen last April in connection with the huge DDoS attack on anti-spam organisation Spamhaus, it has been confirmed.
According to The Evening Standard, the first outlet to be told about the story, the unnamed 16 year-old youth was picked up during 'Operation Rashlike' after police connected his Internet activity to certain forums.
During the arrest, "the suspect was found with his computer systems open and logged on to various virtual systems and forums. The subject has a significant amount of money flowing through his bank account. Financial investigators are in the process of restraining monies," the briefing notes on the Operation said.
The same document agreed with assessments at the time that the 19 March DDoS on Spamhaus had been the "largest DDoS attack ever seen" which caused worldwide impact including on the servers of the UK's main Internet hub, the London Internet Exchange (LINX).
The National Crime Agency (NCA), officially launched this month, confirmed that the arrest had taken place in April and that investigations "were ongoing." The unnamed teen was bailed to appear in court late this year.
Only one other suspect is so far known to have been arrested for the Spamhaus attack, 35 year-old Dutch national Sven Olaf Kamphuis, also arrested in April. Spanish police still believe he was the ringleader for the attack.
Although the exact effect of the DNS reflection attack the two are accused of being involved in is still not clear, at around 300Gbps there is no doubt it was large by DDoS standards. Equally, it is in the interest of police and prosecutors to characterise the offences as being as severe as possible when the evidence supporting this is mixed.
The police leaking of the April arrest comes only days before the new NCA is formally launched on 7 October. Created as an attempt to integrate the investigation of certain kinds of complex crime, the new organisation replaces Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), itself formed as recently as 2006.