Authorities have arrested a 19-year-old in the UK who they claim is the “mastermind” of now-infamous hacker group Lulz Security, reports Sky News. The group, better known as LulzSec, has denied that anyone in their outfit has been apprehended.
The young man, known as Ryan Cleary, was taken into custody following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Scotland Yard launched after the hacker group claimed to have infiltrated the website of the US Central Intelligence Agency, CIA.gov. Scotland Yard’s e-Crime unit arrested Cleary Monday night at his Wickford, Essex, home on suspicion of “Computer Misuse Act, and Fraud Act offenses.” He remains detained for questioning at the central London police station.
According to LulzSec, however, they’ve got the wrong guy. At about 9:30am EST, the group posted to its popular Twitter feed that all LulzSec members have been accounted for.
“Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it’s all over now…” wrote LulzSec, “wait… we’re all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?”
Confessed LulzSec member “Sabu” posted an earlier tweet saying that “all LulzSec members are safe,” and that “Ryan Clearly [sic] had little to do with lulzsec,” aside from running Internet Relay Chat site irc.lulzsec.org.
Despite LulzSec’s dismissals, a Scotland Yard spokesman told Sky that the search of Cleary’s residence has led to “the 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,” the spokesman added.
Network and intrusions and distributed denial of service (DDoS) are certainly right up LulzSec’s alley. And the group has indeed waged both kinds of cyberattacks against “international businesses and intelligence agencies.” The list of LulzSec victims includes: PBS, Sony, FBI affiliate Infragard Atlanta, Nintedo, Bethesda Software, Senate.gov, CIA.gov. Sony and some more Sony.
LulzSec even reportedly joined forces with the world’s other most-infamous hacker group, Anonymous, for a campaign dubbed “Operation Anti-Security” (or #AntiSec in Twitter speak). The aim of this operation, like most of LulzSec’s past hacks, is to pull back the veil on shoddy cybersecurity measures.
A rival hacker group, known as Web Ninjas and led by hacker Th3J35t3r (“The Jester”), has begun posting pictures and personal data of individuals they say are members of LulzSec to a website entitled “LulzSec Exposed“. They also claim LulzSec is simply an off-shoot of Anonymous, not a separate group, and their list includes a number of hackers widely believed to be part of Anonymous, including “Kayla” and self-appointed Anon spokesman Barrett Brown.
Ryan Cleary is not on Web Ninjas’ list.