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Office of National Statistics denies census data was compromised, as Ryan Cleary faces UK and US government questioning

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The Office of National Statistics has denied that personal census information was compromised earlier this week.

It had initially been suspected that hacking group LulzSec had intercepted the data, but it later denied any involvement, saying that a statement on Pastebin was fake. The Office of National Statistics investigated suggestions that census data had been accessed but later said that there had been no compromise.

Census director Glen Watson said: “I can reassure the public that their census records are secure. We have strict measures in place protecting the nation's census information. The claim that hackers got in looks like a hoax and our investigation concluded that there is no sign of any suspicious activity.

“However, we are not complacent and will remain vigilant. The security and confidentiality of census data remain our top priority.”

The technology for the census was provided by US defence contractor Lockheed Martin, who was hit by an advanced persistent threat in May that was linked to the attack on RSA.

Meanwhile, Ryan Cleary appeared in court yesterday on charges of being involved in three online attacks against the British Phonographic Industry, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

According to the Guardian, Cleary is being held in custody at a London police station for further questioning and was charged with five offences of hacking on Wednesday, as part of an international investigation into cyber attacks against the CIA, the US Senate and Sony. He was also charged with constructing a botnet.

A separate report claimed that Cleary is also to be interviewed by FBI agents who are expected to be given access to evidence from Cleary's computer equipment recovered from his family home. As Cleary has already been charged in the UK, that case takes precedence over any extradition request from the US.

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