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York man, 26, may face ‘Facebook hacking’ extradition
10:49am Tuesday 7th June 2011 in News
A MAN from York has been arrested as part of an FBI investigation into an online attack on the Facebook website, writes Jennifer Bell.
A tip-off from the US law enforcement and investigation agency led to officers from Scotland Yard’s e-crime unit swooping on the 26-year-old’s home, after the social networking site’s staff became suspicious.
He is believed to be the first person to be detained in England over a large-scale hacking attack on Facebook, which has more than 600 million users.
The alarm was raised when attempts to breach its systems were spotted.
The man was arrested in York on Thursday evening, and his computer and other electronic devices seized, which are due to be examined by forensic experts. The enquiry is understood to have been launched after extensive discussions between the FBI and the Metropolitan Police. Although few details have been made public, Facebook has confirmed no information from any of its users has been stolen.
The suspected hacker could face extradition to the US and subsequent charges which carry a potential sentence of ten years in jail. The investigation is still ongoing.
Facebook spokeswoman Sophy Tobias said: “While no user data was compromised, we have been working with Scotland Yard and the FBI, as we take any attempt to hack our internal systems extremely seriously.
“However, we have no further comment as this is an ongoing criminal investigation.”
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the 26-year-old had been arrested on “suspicion of computer hacking offences,” and had been released on bond, but they could not provide further details. The FBI has not been available for comment.
Facebook has become a popular target for scammers and hackers aiming to trick users into clicking onto links or install malicious software.
The site contains a mass of personal information which has the potential to be used in “spear-phishing” attacks, which involve email messages written to look like they come from somebody who the intended victim knows.
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