British police arrested a teenager based in Essex, England, who is accused breaching networks and launching distribute denial of service attacks around the world. He may or may not be a part of the LulzSec hacking group.
The 19 year old was arrested at his home in Wickford, Essex, on suspicion of breaching the Computer Misuse Act, police said June 21. Specialist officers seized his computer equipment, and a forensic examination is currently under way. He was taken to a central London police station and is being questioned.
The operation involved law enforcement officials from the local Essex police department, Metropolitan police central e-crime unit (PCeU) and the United States FBI.
"The arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and DDoS attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group," the PCeU said in a statement.
The group of hackers known as LulzSec claimed responsibility for several of the recent high-profile attacks around the world, including the United Kingdom's Serious Organized Crime Agency, a public network for the United States Senate, a Website belonging to the Central Intelligence Agency, Nintendo's Website and multiple Sony services. The police believe the same group of hackers conducted all the attacks.
"The controversial LulzSec group has been playing a dangerous game - their Twitter account, which has more than 220,000 followers, has become increasingly vocal - embarrassing computer crime authorities and large organizations around the world with their attacks," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
Several British papers such as the Daily Mail and SkyNews have referred to the arrested suspect as the LulzSec "mastermind" but the police have not confirmed or denied that claim. The police statement only hints at the LulzSec connection, as well.
As for LulzSec, the group remained defiant on its Twitter feed. "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?" said a post on Twitter this morning.
Everyone will now be looking at LulzSec's Twitter feed, Cluley said. "Will it be a case of who lulz last, laughs longest?"
To go along with its cyber-pranks breaching Websites around the world, LulzSec announced June 20 it will team up with hacktivist collective Anonymous to wreak havoc on governments and giant corporations as part of Operation Anti-Security.