Dutch Man Arrested in Spain in Probe of Spamhaus Attack

A Dutch man was arrested in Spain for possible involvement in one of the largest online attacks ever, the Dutch public prosecutor’s office said.

The 35 year-old man, identified only as S.K., was arrested after the Netherlands issued a European arrest warrant tied to the Internet attack on anti-spam group Spamhaus, the prosecutor’s office said today in a statement. Several computers and mobile phones were seized after a search of a house in Barcelona where the suspect stayed, the office said.

“K. is suspected of unprecedentedly heavy attacks on not- for-profit organization Spamhaus,” Dutch public prosecutors said. “These so-called DDoS attacks also targeted Spamhaus partners in the U.S., the Netherlands and U.K. last month.”

On March 15, a massive data stream flooded the websites of Spamhaus and other victims at a pace that eventually peaked at 300 billion bits per second, several times the size of attacks against websites of U.S. banks in late December and early January. Millions of people may have been affected by disruptions and a slowdown of the Internet that resulted, Geneva-based Spamhaus said last month.

The attacks made networks unavailable to intended users by overloading servers with coordinated requests to access it, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab. The so-called distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks were intended as retribution for Spamhaus’s blacklisting of a handful of accused spammers who were clients of a firm known as CyberBunker.

The suspected is expected to be handed over to Dutch authorities soon, according to today’s statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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