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Suspected Midlands hacker arrested by NCA agents

A suspected hacker from Sutton Coldfield has been arrested in connection with an alleged cyber attack on the United States Department of Defence Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A suspected hacker from Sutton Coldfield has been arrested in connection with an alleged cyber attack on the United States Department of Defence (DoD) as part of a week-long UK-wide operation.

The 23-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham on suspicion of offences linked to data stolen from a messaging service used by DoD employees around the world.

Contact information for around 800 people including name, title, e-mail addresses and phone numbers, as well as details for around 34,400 devices were obtained during the attack last June, the NCA said.

A sign outside the offices of the National Crime Agency (NCA) in London Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Following the attack, the hacker posted screenshots taken from the dashboard used to control the database as well as a bizarre message on the text storage website Pastebin.

It read:

"We smite the Lizards, LizardSquad your time is near. We're in your bases, we control your satellites. "The missiles shall rein upon thy who claim alliance, watch your heads, ** T-47:59:59 until lift off. We're one, we're many, we lurk in the dark, we're everywhere and anywhere. "Live Free Die Hard! DoD, DISA EMSS : Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services is not all, Department of Defense has no Defenses."

– The message on the text storage website Pastebin

The stolen data was used as part of an international satellite message dissemination system known as Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services.

It also included IMEI numbers, which are the unique codes used to identify a mobile device.

No sensitive data was obtained and none of the data obtained could be used to personally identify anyone or threaten US national security, the NCA added.

More than 40 arrests have been made this week by the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit at more than 20 separate locations across England, Wales and Scotland as part of a week of activity targeting cyber crime.

"Behind this week's activity is the message that all of us, as individuals, businesses or law enforcement agencies, have a role to play in making the UK a safe place to enjoy the huge opportunities provided by the internet. "Awareness of the type of cyber crime dangers which are out there is vital, whoever you are, as is collaboration between organisations across different sectors, regions and countries to develop the most effective ways of combating those threats. "We will continue to work with partners to pursue and disrupt the major crime groups targeting the UK, but also, crucially, to make the UK as difficult as possible a target for cyber criminals in the first place."

– Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit

"This arrest underscores DCIS commitment and the joint ongoing efforts among international law enforcement to stop cyber criminals in their tracks.

"DCIS special agents will use every tool at their disposal to pursue and bring to justice those that attack the Department of Defence."

– Jeffrey Thorpe, special agent in charge, at the US Department of Defence criminal investigative service (DCIS)


Teen found hanging from seatbelt in overturned car

A woman found hanging upside down by her seatbelt has been rescued from her overturned car in Sutton Coldfield.

The woman was rescued through the rear window of her car Credit: West Midlands Ambulance

Firefighters took the 18-year-old out of the car via the rear window.

Emergency crews were called to Halton Road in New Oscott, at about 8.10am today.

A parked car and van were also damaged.

“The woman was complaining of hip and back pain. Due to her position, ambulance staff worked with firefighters to lower her, face down, onto a spinal board before she was lifted out through the rear of the Citroen C2."

– West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman

The woman was then taken to Good Hope Hospital for further treatment.

Two more arrests over violent disorder at The Belfry

Two more people have been arrested as police investigate the six stabbings at the Bel Air nightclub. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Two more people have been arrested as police investigate the six stabbings at the Bel Air nightclub in Sutton Coldfield on New Year's Eve.

The men are both 27 and from Birmingham. They were arrested this morning on suspicion of violent disorder.

The three men who were arrested yesterday have been released on bail.

Three men are still in hospital. Two are in a stable but serious condition and one will probably be released this morning.


Six people stabbed at The Belfry's New Year's Eve party

Security block off entrance to Belfry while police investigate Credit: BPM

Six people were stabbed during a New Year’s Eve party at The Belfry resort, leaving one man in a critical condition.

Police were called to the Bel Air Nightclub at around 12.50am to reports of 21-year-old man being stabbed in the chest.

But as they dealt with that incident, further violence broke out both inside and outside the club – during which five others suffered stab wounds.

One 28-year-old man remains in a critical condition while four others, aged between 20 and 27, were released from hospital after treatment.

A 26-year-old man was held on on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, while the 22-year-old was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Violence broke out at a night club at the Belfry Credit: PA

The 20-year-old was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.

They arrested a 26-year-old man from Birmingham on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

All remain in police custody.

Detectives have urged anyone who was inside, or in the vicinity of, the nightclub during the incidents to contact police.

A boss at the upmarket Belfry said the golf resort remained open for business as usual on New Year’s day.

However customers were unable to access the site through the main gates on Lichfield Road, near to which a car park remained sealed off with police tape.

Man who strangled ex-wife due to be sentenced today

Luan Leigh was strangled to death by Andrew Leigh in June Credit: BPM Media

A man from Sutton Coldfield who drugged his ex wife before strangling her to death is due to be sentenced today.

43 year-old Andrew Leigh murdered his wife of 22 years, Luan, at her home in Pype Hayes Birmingham in June. The jury at Birmingham Crown Court was told Leigh was a controlling man who refused to accept their marriage was over.

Much criticised Magical Journey Christmas experience closes its doors

Credit: BPM Media

The Magical Journey Christmas attraction at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield has closed today.

They've blamed the loss of a key financial backer in its final week and organisers say they've been left with no other option.

Families booked to attend are being told to contact their debit or credit card provider for a refund.

We are truly sorry. After all we've been through having to shutdown in the final week is devastating. Although we had quite the time of it in the press and on social media, feedback was great with over 600 four and five star reviews. However, today a key financial backer has dropped out leaving us in the lurch. We have tried desperately over the last few hours to find a replacement but to no avail.

– Magical Journey organisers

ITV Central viewers have already been in touch with their reaction after receiving emails from the organisers.

We have now all received an email saying it is closing down and we cannot get a refund from them - we have to claim it back ourselves. Not only is this time consuming and costly to us with phone calls etc. some people can't afford to take their children elsewhere when the Magical Journey cost so much. We all have to face the issue of finding somewhere to take our children this late in the day when places are booked up.

– Hayley Bailey
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