The men, who are both 21-years-old were arrested shortly after 7.30pm as part of an investigation led by Titan and supported by the international law enforcement community including the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)and its Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT).
An internet content and cloud computing security company provided technical support.
The criminal investigation centres on the alleged supplying of software used by computer hackers which is an offence in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act (1990) and Police and Justice Act (2006).
One of the men was arrested at a house in Moreland Drive in Southport, Merseyside and the other man was arrested at a property in Old Park Lane, also in Southport.
They were kept inside the properties while specialist Titan officers forensically examined various electronic devices using a mobile cyber forensic lab provided by Europol.
The two men have since been taken to separate police stations in the North-west of England where they will be interviewed by officers from Titan’s cyber-crime unit about the alleged offences.
Computer equipment seized from both houses will also be subjected to further forensic examination.
Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson, head of operations at Titan, said: “These arrests are a significant step forward in our relentless fight against cyber-crime which is a type of criminality that really does affect us all. Not everyone will understand yet what cyber-crime is or how it impacts on normal people but it is an increasing threat to anyone who uses the Internet and organised crime groups often sit behind it.
“Cyber criminals who hack into your computer or that of your business or your bank account or your social network can do so from anywhere in the world. So it is vital that law enforcement agencies in different countries work together by sharing intelligence about potential offenders and pool resources and expertise to tackle this common goal.
“That is why Titan is grateful for the assistance of the NCA here in the UK, the FBI in the United States, Europol and specialist companies from the private sector in supporting this investigation. It demonstrates just how well we work together to combat a global threat .
“There is still much for the police to do in terms of raising awareness of cyber-crime amongst the general public and educate people on what basic steps they can take to protect themselves, their families and their personal or financial information online.
“The most crucial ones are ensuring you have the best and latest anti-virus software on your computer and that you always update your computer’s software when it prompts you to. These are your first lines of defence and can prevent you from falling victim to cyber-crime.”
For more information about the work of Titan visit www.titanrocu.org.uk
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