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Spain Remands Dutch Cyber-Attack Suspect

MADRID – A Spanish court remanded in custody a Dutchman suspected of disrupting Internet services in a massive cyber-attack allegedly launched from his hi-tech bunker in Spain, officials said Monday.

MADRID – A Spanish court remanded in custody a Dutchman suspected of disrupting Internet services in a massive cyber-attack allegedly launched from his hi-tech bunker in Spain, officials said Monday.

A judge in Madrid on Saturday ordered the suspect to be held in custody pending a decision on whether to extradite him to the Netherlands, said a judicial source who asked not to be named.

Police seized the suspect, a 35-year-old from Alkmaar in the Netherlands, in Granollers near Barcelona on Thursday, under a European arrest warrant after last month’s attack.

“He had been travelling around Spain in a van that he used as a mobile computing office, equipped with various antenna to scan for frequencies,” police said in a statement.

“He also had numerous computing devices in his home and had turned it into his communications centre.”

The police statement described his home as “a real computing bunker”, from where “he managed to give interviews to various international media about the cyber-attacks”.

Last month’s attack targeted Spamhaus, a Geneva-based volunteer group that publishes blacklists of spam mail distributors.

It was a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), in which hackers bombard sites with traffic in order to jam them.

The Spanish police described it as the biggest ever such cyber-attack in history and said it slowed down web traffic in several countries, including the Netherlands, Britain and the United States.

Spamhaus blamed the attack on Dutch web-hosting service Cyberbunker.

A source close to the investigation had earlier named the suspect as Sven Olaf Kamphuis, who acted as a spokesman for Cyberbunker at the time of the attack.

Kamphuis describes himself on his Facebook page as minister of telecommunications and foreign affairs for the Cyberbunker Republic.

The Spanish police statement said the suspect identified himself by that title when he was arrested, and added that they had seized computers and documents in the raid on his home.

Written By

AFP 2023

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