British Police Charge Teenager With Hacking Attacks

Posted June 22nd, 2011 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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British police have charged a 19-year-old man with cybercrime offenses following his arrest earlier this week in connection with international hackers.

Officials say Ryan Cleary is due to appear in court Thursday to face five charges that include hacking the official website of Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency. Cleary was arrested Monday at his home in Wickford, a town just east of London.

Police allege Cleary targeted the agency's website by bombarding it with traffic, in what is known as a “distributed denial of service” attack.

Cleary is suspected of working with the Lulz Security hacking group that has targeted government and business websites around the world.

Police say the young man has been charged under Britain's laws against computer misuse.

Lulz Security is one of two highly active digital hacking collectives. The other is known as Anonymous.

Lulz has attacked websites and stolen private data such as passwords and logins, but says it does so for “entertainment” and to reveal holes in organizations' cyber security.

The secretive group recently claimed on its Twitter feed that it was behind the attacks that targeted the website of the crime agency as well as those of the CIA, Sony Corporation and the U.S. Senate.

British police worked with the FBI to arrest Cleary.

Lulz said on Twitter that Cleary was only “mildly associated” with the group, which provided a server for one of its many chatrooms.