An 18 year-old man from Southport in the UK has been arrested in connection with the hacking which paralysed Xbox Live and Sony's PSN over the Christmas period. Police are holding him under suspicion of unauthorised access to computer material and threats to kill.
The operation, conducted by the National Cyber Crime Unit and the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit in conjunction with the FBI is also investigating instances of "Swatting", where false reports are made to armed police response teams in order to direct them to the homes of targets. These attacks, which have become alarmingly common in the US, have sometimes resulted in targets and their family members being shot and injured.
"We are still at the early stages of the investigation and there is still much work to be done," said investigator Craig Jones. "We will continue to work closely with the FBI to identify those who commit offences and hold them to account. Offences referred to as 'swatting' involve law enforcement forces in the United States receiving hoax calls via Skype for a major incident in which Swat teams were dispatched.
"We are pursuing cyber criminals using the latest technology and working with businesses and academia to further develop specialist investigative capabilities to protect and reduce the risk to the public.
"Cyber crime is an issue which has no boundaries and affects people on a local, regional and global level."
The most recent hacks to Sony and Microsoft's networks took down services around Christmas day. Sony has since offered customers five free days of PSN+ membership as compensation.