Crime & the Law

The FALCON strikes back – Huge counter cybercrime operations in London

A man was arrested in Harlesden on suspicion of network intrusion. Image: NCA

A man was arrested in Harlesden on suspicion of network intrusion. Image: NCA

London has been the centre of one of the biggest counter cybercrime operations with 35 out of the 57 arrests made across the UK.

100 police officers have been deployed this week in raids by Britain’s National Crime Agency and Met Police FALCON units, the Territorial Support Group (TSG) and local police teams.

Fraud and Linked Crime Online (FALCON) is the Met Police response to the increasing trend in fraud and theft being committed online.

Met Police Falcon Units- fighting cybercrime. Image: Met Police

Met Police Falcon Units- fighting cybercrime. Image: Met Police

The profits are often used to fund other serious crime, including organised crime and terrorism.

FALCON’s Detective Superintendent Jayne Snelgrove, said:

Our activity this week epitomises what FALCON is all about. We’ve worked with businesses, victims and our partners across the UK to tackle a wide range of cyber crime.

FALCON’s number one priority is to make the web a safer environment for people and businesses in London. This week is just a flavour of the work we are carrying out every week to achieve exactly that. We are arresting the perpetrators and showing potential victims how to stay safe.

16 year old arrested for hundreds of cyber-attacks on business websites

Officers from FALCON’s Cyber Crime Unit investigating hundreds of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on business and host websites based in London and the UK arrested a 16-year-old boy in Leeds on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences on Tuesday.

DDoS attacks often involve thousands of malware-infected computers simultaneously sending countless requests to a single computer hosting a website, so that it is overloaded and is effectively removed from the web. It can cause businesses great financial loss.

The boy has been subsequently bailed to return to a police station on a date in early June 2015.

National Crime Agency Officer examining potential digital evidence after arrest and raid. Image: NCA

National Crime Agency Officer examining potential digital evidence after arrest and raid. Image: NCA

Family of alleged cyber-fraudsters arrested- suspected of laundering profits through property investment

Detectives from FALCON East Hub, which investigates high-volume cyber crime and fraud impacting specific boroughs, arrested three family members after a 68-year-old woman from Tonbridge, Kent was defrauded of over £50,000.

On 26th October 2014, she received a call from a man claiming to be from her bank. The suspect told her that her bank account had been compromised and convinced her to transfer her life savings into another account. The suspect then transferred the money into numerous other accounts online, from which it was withdrawn.

On Tuesday, the FALCON East Hub, assisted by the TSG, executed two search warrants at residential addresses on Levine Road, Barking and Dod Street in Poplar, where they recovered numerous cash withdrawal receipts, a number of laptops and mobiles phones.

The three members of the same family were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. A man and woman, both 28, were arrested at the address in Barking and a man aged 30 was arrested at the address in Poplar. They have all been bailed.

It’s believed that some of the money was spent on buying a house worth £175,000, in the borough of Barking and Dagenham.

FALCON Met Police Units- combatting online crime. Image: Met Police

FALCON Met Police Units- combatting online crime. Image: Met Police

National Crime Agency (NCA) co-ordinated operations in London

  • A 21-year-old man arrested on March 5th by the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit on suspicion of a network intrusion attack committed by ‘D33Ds Company’ hacking group, which stole more than 400,000 email addresses and passwords from Yahoo! and published them online in 2012.
  • A 20-year-old male from Hackney, London arrested on March 4 by Metropolitan Police and NCCU on suspicion of committing a £15,000 phishing attack.
  • A 27-year-old from Leyton arrested on March 4 by Metropolitan Police and NCCU, on suspicion of cyber-enabled fraud.
  • A 25-year-old man from North London arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of deploying malware against banks, resulting in financial losses.
  • A 16-year-old man, from the Pudsey area of Leeds has been arrested by the Metropolitan Police for suspected Computer Misuse Act offences concerning the use of DDoS attacks believed to target approximately 350 websites.
  • Two men, aged 38 and 29, arrested in South London and the Cambridge area by the Metropolitan Police for suspected conspiracy and Computer Misuse Act offences relating to the theft of valuable intellectual property from a London financial company.
  • Some 25 suspects in the London and Essex areas were arrested by The Metropolitan Police Fraud and Linked Crime Online (FALCON) unit on suspicion of cyber-enabled fraud offences – including fraud by false representation, theft and money laundering.
  • An 18-year-old man arrested by the Eastern Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) in Watford, suspected of being responsible for the development and administration of the Titanium and Avenger stressor tools which have been used in DDoS attacks on public sector websites, including police.
  • A 22-year-old man and a 59-year old woman arrested in Camberwell by the Eastern ROCU, suspected of offences relating to cyber-enabled fraud targeting high street retailer loyalty point schemes.

 

 

 

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