UK Police Nab Teen for Hacking International Sites

Forensic Examiners Analyzing Seized Materials from Suspect's Home
UK Police Nab Teen for Hacking International Sites

British authorities say they arrested Monday a 19-year-old man for hacking a number of international websites.

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According to a statement issued Tuesday by London's Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit, the arrest followed an investigation into network intrusions and distributed denial of service attacks against a number of international businesses and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group. The police neither identified the target businesses and government agencies nor the hacking group. The e-crime unit said it was working with the FBI on this case; the American law enforcement agency hasn't issued a comment on the investigation.

Police say they searched a residence in Wickford, a town of 33,000 about 30 miles east of London, and uncovered a significant amount of material, in which forensic examiners are analyzing.

The BBC identified the suspect as Ryan Cleary. Cleary's mother told the BCC that her son had been obsessed with computers since he was 12 and added: "Computers were his world."

Police sources told the BBC that the attacks its investigating include hacks on the websites of the CIA and Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency. The hacker group LulzSec had claimed it intruded the CIA websites (see LulzSec: Senate, Sony Hackers Profiled).

In a Twitter posting midmorning EDT Tuesday, LulzSec suggested the suspect is not a member of the hacking group: "Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it's all over now ... wait ... we're all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?"

LulzSec also claimed it have hacked Sony, though another hacker is believed to had instigated the initial, massive intrusion in late April that exposed the personal identifiable information of 77 million customers (see Sony Breach Ignites Phishing Fears).

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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