Spanish police have arrested a man they suspect to be involved in a cyber attack listed by many experts as the largest distributed denial of service campaign ever mounted.
The unnamed 35-year-old Dutchman was arrested on Thursday as a part of a joint operation between the Spanish police and the Dutch High-Tech Crime Team.
"K [the Dutch man] is suspected of unprecedented heavy attacks on the non-profit organisation Spamhaus, where anti-spam databases are managed," the Spanish police force said in a statement.
The police confirmed the man is one of many suspected of helping to mount attacks on not-for-profit agency Spamhaus earlier this year.
"[The] so-called DDoS attacks last month were also performed on Spamhaus partners in the United States, the Netherlands and Great Britain. The attackers were taking advantage of forged IP addresses," read the statement.
The agency has confiscated a number of the man's computers and is expected to transfer him to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service "soon".
The attacks on Spamhaus' networks began on 18 March and are believed to have been mounted to "protest" the non-profit organisation's decision to block a number of sites hosted by Cyberbunker – a Dutch web hosting service that prides itself on hosting any site, except those involved in child pornography or terrorism.
Cloudflare, the company hired by Spamhaus to mitigate the attack, confirmed that at its peak the intensity of the attacks reached 300Gbit/s, making it one of the largest ever DDoS attacks ever mounted.
"The record-breaking attacks were initially directed at Spamhaus infrastructure such as websites, mailservers and nameservers. Then, over the course of the following two weeks, the attacks escalated to targeting Spamhaus' supporting networks and services including various internet exchanges," read Spamhaus' statement at the time.
It is currently unclear if the man is linked to Cyberbunker and at the time of publishing the company had not responded to V3's request for comment.
Spamhaus praised law enforcement for the arrest, pledging to continue its anti-spam and cyber crime campaigns.
"Spamhaus will resolutely continue its mission to provide reliable protection against cyber threats such as spam, malware and botnets and work with internet service providers and organisations worldwide to create a safer internet," said a Spamhaus spokesman.
DDoS is an increasingly common form of cyber attack that is being used by hacktivist and cyber criminal groups. The attacks aim to bring websites down by overloading their networks with requests.
Head of the Metropolitan Police's Central e-crime Unit Charlie McMurdie listed DDoS attacks as one of the biggest threats facing UK industry during an Infosec 2013 debate earlier this year.
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