Teens arrested after data attacks

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Two teenagers aged 18 and 19 face serious charges of computer crime after being arrested for carrying out data attacks against Norway’s biggest bank, DNB, and several other major websites including that of state lottery “Norsk Tipping.” They also hit the site for Norway’s police intelligence unit PST.

Investigators described the teens as hackers who weren’t out after personal gain, but rather were part of a group keen on vandalizing websites so that users can’t gain access to them. Newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv (DN) reported that the so-called “Distributed Denial-of-Service” attacks also targeted the websites for two online high-tech news services.

Police said they didn’t think the young men, now charged with aggravated destruction of property, realized the scope of the damage they had caused. The motivation for their attacks was unclear.

Norsk Tipping’s website has been reporting serious technical trouble and several other major sites have experienced recent disruptions in service as well. Erik Moestue of state crime unit Kripos said investigators had charged those “most central” in the data attacks, but likely would be calling in others for questioning.

The 18-year old was arrested at his computer at home in Romerike, northeast of Oslo, while the 19-year-old is from the valley of Gudbrandsdalen. Neither have police records and both were released from custody after police seized their computer equipment.

Both have admitted to the attacks against DNB and PST. Police suspect they’re involved in several other attacks, also against websites outside Norway including those tied to a British security service and the German publication Bild.

The teenagers have turned down representation by a public defense attorney. The face six years in prison.

Views and News staff