Suspect Arrested Over ‘Biggest Cyber Attack Ever’

Young man in handcuffs - copyright Fotolia

Man arrested believed to be Stophaus leader Sven Olaf Kamphuis over hits on Spamhaus and others

Authorities have arrested a suspect in Spain over cyber attacks on anti-spam outfit Spamhaus, believed to be the biggest on record.

TechWeekEurope understands the 35-year-old male arrested is Dutchman Sven Olaf Kamphuis, a supporter of the Stophaus group which opposes Spamhaus’ aggressive campaign against spammers, and employee of the Cyberbunker hosting organisation implicated in the attacks.

The initials SK were used to name the suspect, who was apprehended in Barcelona, which is where Kamphuis lives, according to his Facebook page.

A spokesperson from the Openbaar Ministerie, the Dutch body that that determines what suspects should come before the criminal courts, refused to confirm to TechWeek that it was Kamphuis who was arrested. The Openbaar Ministerie typically provides limited detail on suspects, the spokesperson said.

Keyboard Illustration "Cyber Attack" © Ben Chams - FotoliaSpamhaus cyber attack suspect arrested

The suspect was taken in after a European arrest warrant was issued. His house was searched, with computers and mobile devices seized, and he will soon be transferred to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service.

When Spamhaus was targeted last month, attackers launched various distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on its networking partners, including content delivery network CloudFlare, a Tier 1 network provider and various internet exchanges, including LINX in London.

One Tier 1 network told TechWeekEurope it was hit by a single attack measuring in at 309Gbps, which would be the biggest on record, as well as another powerful DDoS.

The attacks were said to be related to Spamhaus’ decision to place Dutch hosting company, Cyberbunker, on a blacklist. Kamphuis works for Cyberbunker, but had said he was wrongly accused of involvement in the attacks.

CloudFlare suggested in a blog post the attacks “almost broke the Internet”, something that many claimed was unnecessary hyperbole. Even one of CloudFlare’s partners, nLayer, said nothing “record smashing” or “game changing” occurred, although it agreed certain portions of the Internet may have seen some slowdown.

The attack power was called into question too, by CloudFlare rival Prolexic. Both want to talk about their anti-DDoS offerings, so it has come as no surprise to onlookers the pair disagree on the size of the hit. Although the Tier 1 network firm’s comment appeared to confirm the mammoth size of the DDoS.

Supporters of Kamphuis have already pledged to avenge his reported arrest, saying over Pastebin they would “start the biggest attack u [sic] humans have ever experienced towards the Internet”. They threatened to attack media organisations who they claim damaged Kamphuis’s reputation.

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