A report by Sky News (opens in new tab) in London claims that a 19-year-old male was arrested in Essex under suspicion of spearheading the hacker group LulzSec. The arrest arrives just days after the group openly attacked the CIA's website last Wednesday, Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency on Monday, and numerous other sites in-between.
After the CIA's website went down last week, the FBI and Scotland Yard reportedly launched an investigation immediately. While the details leading up to his arrest are scarce, Sky News reports that LulzSec's alleged leader Ryan Cleary was apprehended on Monday after detectives from Scotland Yard's e-crime unit closed in on his Wickford, Essex home.
Currently Cleary is in custody at a central London police station and being "questioned" under the Computer Misuse Act and Fraud Act. If found guilty, he could be extradited to the United States to face trial. Meanwhile Scotland Yard is conducting an "examination of a significant amount of material."
"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," a Scotland Yard spokesman told Sky News, adding that the Met and Essex Police are working "in cooperation" with the FBI.
Additionally, a Met spokesperson told Develop in a separate article that "we will examine the individual for any Sony data," and confirmed this was in relation to the PlayStation Network breach. Over 77 million PSN accounts were compromised back in April 2011 following a critical data hack. Eventually the network came back online, and Sony compensated users by offering free games, free identity protection for a year, free movie rentals and more.
The Sky News report also claims that LulzSec's Twitter page went silent after his arrest, but that doesn't seem to be the case. "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?" reads one tweet two hours ago.
Notorious "hactivist" group Anonymous also reports via Twitter that LulzSec is still up and running despite the arrest and additional reports of the group's collapse. "The good news everybody: Ryan has little to do with #LulzSec besides running IRC. All 6 members of @LulzSec are fine and safe. #AntiSec."
Monday after LulzSec took down the SOCA's website, the group said that it would later unleash its cannon on multiple targets. "That last one is down depending on which area you're from," they said. "Lulz Cannon is being upgraded."
Monday the first signs on AntiSec began to appear on local San Diego beaches in the form of graffiti art. Both LulzSec and Anonymous previously called on hackers worldwide to unite in taking down governments, banks and big corporations. Part of the unified onslaught also included spreading the AntiSec name using graffiti or logos on defaced websites.