UK authorities have arrested an 19 year-old from Essex, England who is believed to be a member of the anarchic group Lulzsec following an investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and British intelligence.
The unnamed man was arrested for violations of the UK’s Computer Misuse Act and its Fraud Act, according to a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police. Although no explicit connection has been made to Lulzsec, the mysterious group behind a string of high profile hacks in recent weeks, the man was described as part of an online hacking group, unnamed, that was responsible for computer intrusions and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
The arrest followed an investigation led by intelligence agencies, including the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and was prompted by attacks on high profile government Web sites, including a hack of a Web page belonging to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and a the UK’s Serious and Organized Crime Agency, as well as the attacks on electronics giant Sony, according to the spokesman, who declined to comment on how long the investigation had been going on.
The man is currently in custody for questioning in Central London. UK law allows suspects to be held for 96 hours without charges being filed, but the spokesman said that charges were likely in this case. In addition to the arrest, authorities searched a home in Wickford, Essex and are examining a “significant amount of material” seized at the address.
Lulzsec, which is believed to be a spin off from Anonops, the top echelon of the wide ranging anarchic group Anonymous, has been behind a series of high profile attacks in recent weeks. They include attacks on the FBI, the U.S. Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Sony Corp., systems belonging to the U.S. Senate and more.
If the 19 year old is a high ranking member of Lulzsec, it would be the first known arrest of leader. Arrests to date have been of foot soldiers who allowed their computer to be used in a denial of service attack, often with the benefit of free software dubbed the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC).