Officers from the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) have announced that they have arrested a 19-year-old man in a pre-planned intelligence-led operation.
The man is rumoured to be a member of the LulzSec hacking group and according to F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen, he could be Ryan Cleary, also known as ViraL. Hypponen said on Twitter that he was ‘not sure of his relation to LulzSec', he was not been named on the LulzSec Exposed blog.
The PCeU said that the arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies.
It said: “The teenager was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act, and Fraud Act offences and was taken to a central London police station, where he currently remains in custody for questioning.”
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “The controversial LulzSec group has been playing a dangerous game. Their Twitter account, which has more than 220,000 followers, has become increasingly vocal, embarrassing computer crime authorities and large organisations around the world with their attacks.
“There has been much speculation recently regarding who might be behind LulzSec, if the group has now been cracked then it will send a strong message to others thinking about engaging in their own hacks or denial-of-service attacks.
“What everyone will now be looking for is whether LulzSec's Twitter account is updated and if so, what does it say about the arrest?”
Rik Ferguson, director of security research at Trend Micro, said: “If LulzSec preparation was in anyway similar to that of Wikileaks, should expect to start seeing mass release of previously witheld information?”
LulzSec responded to the arrest on Twitter, saying: “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?
"Clearly the UK police are so desperate to catch us that they've gone and arrested someone who is, at best, mildly associated with us. Lame."