The unnamed woman was arrested in the north east of England by officers from Operation Weeting, the police probe into allegations of phone hacking.
The arrest took place at 6.35am GMT on Wednesday morning (November 30) and the woman is now in custody at a local police station, being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages.
Operation Weeting launched earlier in the year to probe illegal hacking of mobile phones of public figures by the News of the World, the Sunday tabloid shut down in July at the height of the scandal.
This latest arrest is the 17th by Operation Weeting, including former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson. So far, no one has been charged with any crime.
It also came just hours after former News of the World deputy features editor Paul McMullan claimed that senior editors, including Coulson and Brooks, were aware of the extent of illegal activity at the paper.
In his startlingly frank evidence to the Leveson inquiry, McMullan described Coulson and Brooks as the "scum" of journalism for trying to pin the blame on their reporters, such as Clive Goodman, the ex News of the World royal editor jailed in 2007.
He also claimed that hacking was an "honourable" activity as it aimed to uncover corruption in high places, and said that the interception of the voicemails of Milly Dowler was "not a bad thing" as journalists were just trying to help the "incompetent" police searching for her in 2002.