Cyber criminals forced the shutdown of the British National Crime Agency’s Web site on Tuesday morning, apparently as revenge for the arrest of six teenage hackers last week.
An agency spokesperson told The Guardian that the brief hack was “at worst … a temporary inconvenience” to users, not a security breach.
The NCA is a national agency responsible for combating organized crime and cybercrime.
The hackers used a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the NCA. DDoS attacks prompt Web sites to shut down by overloading them with fake traffic.
“DDoS is a blunt form of attack which takes volume and not skill,” the agency told The Guardian. “It isn’t a security breach, and it doesn’t affect our operational capability.”
Shortly after the NCA site was shut down, the hacking group Lizard Squad tweeted an allusion to the code used to launch the attack and the text “nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/ #offline.”
Last week, four U.K. teens were released on bail on charges of launching cyberattacks using a tool made by Lizard Squad. The teens allegedly used the “Lizard Stresser” to attack a national newspaper, a school, gaming companies and several online retailers.
The same tool was apparently used in the attack on the NCA.
The arrests were part of a larger raid intended to identify individuals linked to Lizard Squad. According to Ars Technica, the hacking group’s website is still online as of yesterday, although the Lizard Stresser tool was not available.
The hacker’s site carries the ominous message, “Back online. Full restoration coming soon.”