A 29-year-old British man suspected of being behind the cyber attack which affected 900,000 Deutsche Telekom customers has been arrested at Luton Airport.
The German telecoms giant was forced to roll out a software update in November after nearly a million of its customers across the country were either cut off, or had issues with their broadband service.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) today said it has arrested the man under charges of computer sabotage on behalf of Germany’s federal criminal police force (BKA).
Cologne public prosecutor Dr Daniel Vollmert said the man is “accused of being the mastermind behind the attack”, with the police planning to extradite him to Germany where he could face up to ten years in prison
He supposedly planned to hack the Deutsche Telekom router in order to integrate in to a networked “botnet” for cyber criminal activities and prosecutors allege that he tried to sell the botnet on the dark web “attack scenarios like so-called DDoS attacks”.
At the time, Deutsche Telekom was able to mitigate the attack by instructing customers to disconnect their routers and only restart them after carrying out a software update.
Attacks such as this were extremely prevalent throughout 2016, as businesses struggled to come to terms with a growing attack surface and the increased sophistication of cyber attacks, emphasising a need for next generation security products.
DDoS attacks in particular are a serious threat to businesses. Earlier this month a suspected DDoS attack took down the Austrian Parliament website and the same type of attack was deemed responsible for an outage at Lloyds Banking Group in January that left customers unable to access online banking services for three days.
Corero Network Security warned businesses to prepare for bigger and badder DDoS attacks in 2017 and, if the first two months of the year are anything to go by, this prediction looks set to come true.
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