Teenage Brit charged with denial-of-service attacks, and bomb threats

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Computer fingers

If you have a 15-year-old son who is into computers, do you know what he’s up to in his bedroom right now?

Well, you might want to hope that he’s visiting a porn site – because there are certainly much worse things he could be up to.

Devon & Cornwall Police in the UK say that a 15-year-old youth from the Plympton area of Plymouth has been charged in connection with a series of denial-of-service attacks on websites based in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.

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In addition, the teenager has been charged with two offences in relation to bomb hoaxes directed against North American airlines that were posted on social media sites.

The 15-year-old, who has not been named, has been bailed to appear before Plymouth Youth Court on December 18th.

Whenever stories emerge that a teenager might have been involved in cybercrime, the tabloid newspapers often try to paint a picture of the suspect as a social loner with advanced computing skills.

However, the truth is that you don’t have to be a genius to launch a denial-of-service attack or to post a bomb threat on Twitter.

According to a BBC News report, the youth is not believed to have been involved in the high profile hacking of mobile phone operator TalkTalk, which has also seen a number of arrests in recent weeks.

flickr photo shared by gagilas under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA )

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

4 comments on “Teenage Brit charged with denial-of-service attacks, and bomb threats”

  1. Jamie Stone

    If you are an IT pro, you should make sure your tech savvy kids understand just how trackable they are…

    1. Graham CluleyGraham Cluley · in reply to Jamie Stone

      Good idea. And we should teach them about online ethics and common human decency as well.

  2. George P.

    "Hopefully he's watching porn rather than…" That's a pretty sick wish for children, Graham. Shock value? Any values? #poortaste

    1. Graham CluleyGraham Cluley · in reply to George P.

      Thanks for the comment George.

      Clearly none of them are ideal behaviours for a 15 year old, but I suspect that perusing Playboy pin-ups is preferable to doing something which is likely to end up with you being taken on a trip to the cop shop.

      My intended point was that you might be concerned that they’re visiting the seedier parts of the net, whereas in fact there could be other stuff you haven’t even considered going on…

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