UK Charges Teenager for Alleged Jamming of Anti-terrorist Hotline

A 17-year-old arrested after a series of prank phones calls and denial-of-service attacks directed toward an anti-terrorist alert hotline was charged on Saturday, according to the U.K.'s Metropolitan Police Service.

The teenager, from Birmingham, was charged in Westminster Magistrates' Court with one count of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and with one count of violating the Computer Misuse Act of 1990. His name was not released because he is a minor.

He was arrested along with a 16-year-old male on Thursday evening in the West Midlands for allegedly making hoax phone calls. The 16-year-old was bailed pending further enquiries, according to a MPS spokesman on Monday.

A group called itself TeaMp0isoN posted on YouTube a recording of a prank phone made to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline, staffed by police in order to take tips from the public on potential terrorist-related activity. Police said no confidential communications systems were breached, and that the call appeared to have just been recorded on the receiving end.

On the call, the prankster identifies himself to police as a 16-year-old named "Robert West," but near the end of the call, someone in the background calls him "TriCK."

Softpedia published an interview with TriCK before the arrests. TriCK said TeaMp0isoN used a script to make nonstop calls to the hotline for 24 hours. The harassment of the police was in protest of the extradition of people to the U.S. on unfounded terrorism accusations, according to the story.

TriCK's Twitter account has been quiet for the last few days. TeaMp0isoN published a link on Twitter on Monday leading to a Pastebin entry that appeared to be a tribute to TriCK: "We've lost the first and most important member of our team," it read.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

Subscribe to the Security Watch Newsletter

Comments