London police have apprehended a teenager on suspicion of participating in LulzSec's recent high-profile cyber attacks, according to multiple online published reports.
The hacking group Lulz Security or LulzSec, a combination of "lulz," or laughs, and security, shot to prominence recently after taking credit for hacking into Sony, the US Senate, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), PBS, pornography and gaming sites, the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), and many other organizations, law enforcement agencies, corporations, and governmental bodies.
Police arrest alleged LulzSec mastermind
On Tuesday, British police dealing with digital crime have arrested a 19-year-old man in Essex, England, on suspicion of being a mastermind behind notorious international computer hacking group LulzSec.
The arrest of the teenager, identified as Ryan Cleary by Channel 4 News, comes just days after the notorious hacking group claimed it brought down the Central Intelligence Agency's website.
The arrest of the teenager, identified as Ryan Cleary by Channel 4 News, comes just days after the notorious hacking group claimed it brought down the CIA's website.
Hacker in custody in London
Citing unnamed sources, the media reports say the teenager was arrested in Wickford, Essex, following a joint operation by the FBI and Scotland Yard.
The investigators arrested the teen under charges from the Computer Misuse Act and Fraud Act.
"Officers from the Metropolitan police central e-crime unit (PCeU) have arrested a 19-year-old man in a pre-planned intelligence-led operation," a spokesperson for the law enforcement agency is reported as saying by several tabloid reports.
"The arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group."
The teenager is currently in the custody, while computer forensic specialists examine his PCs and servers.
LulzSec possibly attacked 2011 UK Census
Channel 4 News said on its Web site that it learns the mystery hacking group LulzSec group may have electronically attacked the 2011 UK Census.
Citing a spokesperson for the 2011 census, the Channel 4 News says, "We are aware of the suggestion that census data has been accessed.
"We are working with our security advisers and contractors to establish whether there is any substance to this. The 2011 census places the highest priority on maintaining the security of personal data. At this stage we have no evidence to suggest that any such compromise has occurred."
LulzSec becomes even bolder
LulzSec, however, denied that one of its members was in custody, insisting that it's still in operation.
"Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested," the group wrote on its Twitter account. "It all over now. Wait, we're all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?"
The group even announced yesterday that it would partner with Anonymous, the clandestine hacker group, to take on government agencies, banks, and other prominent organizations in a campaign called "AntiSec."
Anonymous is a shadowy group of computer hackers that is made up of hundreds of hackers and activists from various countries organized into cells that share common goals. These so-called hactivists operate anonymously in a coordinated fashion to carry out coordinated attacks.
LulzSec, Anonymous’ operation Anti-Security
In operation Anti-Security or AntiSec, both groups have pledged to target government sites.
"Top priority is to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation," Lulzsec said in a statement. "Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments. If they try to censor our progress, we will obliterate the censor with cannonfire anointed with lizard blood."
Later, the group said they were successful in taking down the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency's (SOCA) site and that it also targeted the UK Census.
"We have blissfully obtained records of every single citizen who gave their records to the security-illiterate UK government for the 2011 census," LulzSec said in a note posted on Pastebin. "We're keeping them under lock and key though... so don't worry about your privacy (...until we finish re-formatting them for release)."