Tech by VICE

Hackers 'Lizard Squad' Just DDoSed the UK's National Crime Agency

Fighting back the best way they know how.

by Joseph Cox
Sep 1 2015, 12:50pm

Image: photowind/Shutterstock

On Tuesday morning, hacking group Lizard Group appeared to briefly take down the website of the National Crime Agency (NCA)—essentially the UK's version of the FBI—in an apparent revenge attack.

The DDoS came after the NCA arrested six suspected customers of Lizard Squad's DDoS service last week, and planned to lecture dozens of others who had registered an interest in the tool on avoiding a life of serious cybercrime.

Lizard Squad became famous after attacking Microsoft and Sony gaming networks in late 2014, before going on to sell the tool that promised to give buyers similar results.

The attack was announced with a tweet from the Lizard Squad account, which posted a link to the NCA's website along with the message "Stressed out?" The tweet mimicked one made by the NCA days earlier, warning that customers of Lizard Squad would soon be receiving visits from law enforcement.

An NCA spokesperson confirmed that the agency's site had been DDoS'ed this morning.

"The NCA website is an attractive target. Attacks on it are a fact of life," the spokesperson said, and went on to downplay the effectiveness of the attack.

"DDOS is a blunt form of attack which takes volume and not skill. It isn't a security breach, and it doesn't affect our operational capability. At worst it is a temporary inconvenience to users of our website. We have a duty to balance the value of keeping our website accessible with the cost of doing so, especially in the face of a threat which can scale up endlessly. The measures we have in place at present mean that our site is generally up and running again within 30 minutes, though occasionally it can take longer. We think that's proportionate."

At the time of publication, the NCA's website was already up and running again.