A 19-year-old male from Hertfordshire, UK, ended up arrested August 31 for being a member of the Apophis Squad, a group that has made bomb threats and launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
George Duke-Cohan, remains in custody after he pleaded guilty to three counts of making hoax bomb threats.
Duke-Cohan is said to be the leader of Apophis Squad, which has sent bomb threats to thousands of schools in the United Kingdom and the United States, according to the UK National Crime Agency (NCA).
NCA officials said the teen, known online as “7R1D3N7,” “DoubleParallax” and “optcz1,” has also admitted making a prank call saying an United Airlines flight traveling from the U.K. to San Francisco had been hijacked by gunmen, including one carrying a bomb.
While the charges in the UK focus on the hoax bomb threats, Apophis Squad is also known for launching DDoS attacks against encrypted email provider ProtonMail, cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs, the DEF CON hacking conference, and government agencies in several countries.
ProtonMail said in late June it suffered from a DDoS attack that caused some delays in the delivery of emails. The organization initially said a group linked to Russia had been behind the attack — Apophis Squad’s Twitter account claims the group is from Russia — but Radware, which helped ProtonMail mitigate the attack, later clarified the attackers were actually based in the UK.