The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) website was taken down by the cyber-attackers using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, apparently as an act of revenge for taking the users of Lizard Squad users under custody.
After the DDoS attack, the website remained offline for more than three hours. This happened just within a week after six teenagers were arrested by the agency on the notion of a using Lizard Squad’s cyber attack and hacking tools to target online services and websites.
DDoS isn’t a security breach but an attack, which causes targeted website’s server to overload with a huge amount of traffic, resulting in crashing of the website.
Soon after the attack, the twitter handle of the hacking group Lizard Squad (@LizardLands) tweeted a message, saying: “Stressed out? http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/ #offline”
NCA spokesperson said in the statement that:
“The NCA website is an attractive target. Attacks on it are a fact of life. DDoS is a blunt form of attack which takes volume and not skill.
It isn’t a security breach, and it doesn’t affect our operational capability.
At worst it is a temporary inconvenience to users of our website. We have a duty to balance the value of keeping our website accessible with the cost of doing so, especially in the face of a threat which can scale up endlessly.
The measures we have in place at present mean that our site is generally up and running again within 30 minutes, though occasionally it can take longer. We think that’s proportionate.”
The UK NCA officials and local police forces, last week, arrested six teenagers as a part of Operation Vivarium over the doubt of the usage of Lizard Squad’s tool Lizard Stresser for attacking websites. Names of the arrested teenagers were not disclosed; however, details about their age and locality were released. And later all six of them were bailed.
— National Crime Agency (NCA) (@NCA_UK) August 28, 2015
Those teenagers taken under custody includes a 15-year-old from Stockport, a 16-year-old from Northampton, a 17-year-old from Manchester, three 18-year-old from Huddersfield, Manchester and Milton. All of them were male.
Tony Adams of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit said:
“By paying a comparatively small fee, tools like Lizard Stresser can cripple businesses financially and deprive people of access to important information and public services. One of our key priorities is to engage with those on the fringes of cyber criminality, to help them understand the consequences of cybercrime and how they can channel their abilities into productive and lucrative legitimate careers.”
At the time of publishing this article, the NCA’s website was restored and available online.
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