Scotland Yard announced Tuesday morning that it had arrested a 19-year-old man in Wickford, Essex, who is suspected of being the mastermind of a hacker group called LulzSec that electronically attacked Sony, the US Senate and CIA, the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), and many other organizations, law-enforcement agencies, corporations, and governmental bodies. The teen is being questioned in London while computer forensic specialists examine his PCs and servers.
"Officers from the Metropolitan police central e-crime unit (PCeU) have arrested a 19-year-old man in a pre-planned intelligence-led operation," a spokesperson for the law-enforcement agency said. "The arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group."
"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," the statement continued. "Searches at a residential address in Wickford, Essex, following the arrest last night have led to the examination of a significant amount of material. These forensic examinations remain ongoing."
LulzSec is a so-called splinter group of Anonymous, the wider and more loosely organized hacker group that was originally tied to the Sony attack. It's unclear what official relationship exists between the two groups, if any.
The PCeU noted that it was working in cooperation with the FBI to uncover data from the suspect's computers and background information. The arrest comes on the heels of LulzSec's latest high-profile attack, this one against the UK's Office for National Statistics, which stores that country's census data. LulzSec took credit for the attack and announced plans to steal more confidential data from various governmental websites. "Our next step is to categorize and format leaked items we acquire and release them in 'payloads' on our website and The Pirate Bay," the hacking group claimed on Twitter.While the PCeU statement doesn't reveal the nature of the teen's involvement with LulzSec, the BBC reported Tuesday that he is "suspected of being a mastermind" behind the group.