September 23, 2019

Teen hacker arrested as authorities hit back after cyber attacks

The Empire Strikes Back. "Lord Vader we have arrested one of the rebels".

A teen hacker has been arrested in the UK as the FBI and Scotland Yard hit back following recent cyber attacks on government websites.

Ryan Cleary, 19, was arrested in Wickford, Essex. Police have not identified him publicly themselves (his mother did), but have said that the arrest is in response to a series of high profile distributed denial of service attacks by hackers.

There is no indication yet that Ryan Cleary is involved with Lulz Security (LulzSec), the group that has claimed responsibility for attacks on a number of prominant government and corporate websites, mostly in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Scotland Yard would not say if Tuesday’s raid was connected to LulzSec but said it had been a “pre-planned, intelligence-led” operation. Well that is comforting. At least they ‘pre-planned’ it and didn’t just pick some poor random guy to arrest.

The Metropolitan Police’s e-crimes unit have confirmed the raid was linked to the recent intrusion attacks on the websites of the CIA and Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

It says the teenager’s computer was being examined for data linked to Sony, which recently came under cyber attack.

Mr Cleary was arrested under the Computer Misuse Act and Fraud Act and is being questioned at a central London police station.

Earlier a Scotland Yard spokesman put on an important voice and read out a statement that said “The arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and distributed denial of service attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group.”

“Searches at a residential address in Wickford, Essex, following the arrest last night, have led to the examination of a significant amount of material. These forensic examinations remain ongoing.”

When Lulz Security, or LulzSec, first appeared in May this year, the group portrayed itself as a light-hearted organisation, bent on creating online fun and Lulz (laughs).

But LulzSec is said to have been planning to establish itself as a rival to Anonymous, the hacking group tied up in the WikiLeaks fallout.

LulzSec initially targeted US broadcasters PBS, Fox and gaming firms like Sony. The CIA and UK NHS websites were also attacked.

Computer hacking is ust another form of teenage rebellion. Teenagers have been pusing against the establishment for decades and this is just more of the same but in digital form.