British police arrest suspect in hacking of German telecom

Deutsche_Telekom_Tagungshotel_Bad_Honnef.jpg

Conference hotel of the Deutsche Telekom AG in the city district Selhof of the town Bad Honnef near Bonn. (Photo Credit: Leit via Wikimedia Commons)

BERLIN — A 29-year-old Briton was taken into custody in London on a European arrest warrant issued by Germany on suspicion of a carrying out a cyberattack on Deutsche Telekom, federal police said Thursday.

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, or BKA, said the man, whose name wasn’t released, is suspected of conducting a cyberattack on an internet access router in November that meant more than 1 million Deutsche Telekom customers couldn’t go online.

Cologne prosecutors, who are handling the case, called the attack “an especially severe case of computer sabotage,” saying the nationwide hack threatened critical communication infrastructures.

The suspect, who was arrested Wednesday at a London airport, allegedly planned to hack the router to integrate it into a networked botnet for cybercrimes, the BKA said in a statement.

German prosecutors said the Briton allegedly offered to sell the botnet on the darknet — an area of cyberspace invisible on the open internet often used for illegal activity — for “attack scenarios like so-called DDoS attacks.”