Hacker Arrested in United Kingdom, Could Have LulzSec Ties

by Jordan Richardson on June 22, 2011

A 19-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in cyber-attacks. The suspect, identified on some websites as Ryan Cleary of Essex, was arrested by British police following a joint investigation with the FBI and Scotland Yard’s Internet crimes unit.

British police wouldn’t say that the suspect was connected with LulzSec, the brazen group making waves for a rash of recent attacks, but they did say that a computer seized in the operation would be examined for data from Sony.

The suspect has not yet been charged with a crime, it should be noted, but police said that a “significant amount of data” had been taken from the home. Forensic examinations are expected to be underway shortly.

LulzSec, for its part, denied that the arrested hacker had anything to do with them. They were, however, uncharacteristically silent on their Twitter feed for ten hours after the arrest.

If the hacker arrested in the United Kingdom is Cleary, he certainly has a history of getting under the skin of the wrong hacker groups. Some suspect that he could have been turned over to police by a rival hacker. In the hacker community, Cleary was pointed out by Anonymous for hacking the group’s websites.

Even if this arrest is connected to LulzSec, it’s not particularly logical to celebrate this as some sort of victory. One hacker arrested essentially means that there’s numerous more out there plying their trade with unrelenting distributed denial of service (DDoS) and data theft attacks. The hacker community is simply too incongruent and, yes, anonymous to peg down.

If anything, this arrest does help us understand – at least moderately – a type of hacker. Cleary was interviewed for website Thinq just a month ago. James Nixon, the journalist tasked with the interview, recalled Cleary as “…in a bit of a bubble. He is very much aware of the power that he has in his hands but not necessarily the repercussions.”

Mitchell, Cleary’s half-brother, noted that the suspect was “obsessed with computers. He’s a bit of a geek. That’s all he does – he’s a recluse. He locks himself in a room every day, closes the curtains and spends hours at a time online.”

Indeed, the hacker community does seem to thrive on being disconnected and shielded, at least in part, from the rest of society. While there are clear exceptions and those who use their “power” for good, many within the community don’t appear to know the ramifications of their actions or, worse still, don’t appear to care.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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