Teenager Ryan Cleary charged over LulzSec hacking

Published Wednesday, 22 June 2011
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Essex 19-year-old charged with five offences after arrest linked to cyber attacks by LulzSec group

A British teenager has been charged with five offences of computer hacking.

Ryan Cleary, 19, was charged with offences, including a cyber attack on Monday on Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

Cleary was arrested on Monday evening at his family's home in Wickford, Essex.

His arrest was linked to a series of cyber attacks by a group called LulzSec, which investigators believe had targeted websites including ones belonging to the US government and the electronics giant Sony.

Cleary was charged over cyber attacks on targets including the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the British Phonographic Industry as well as on Soca. The investigation into whether he is involved in any other attacks is continuing.

The Metropolitan police said: "A 19-year-old man has this afternoon been charged with offences under the Criminal Law Act and Computer Misuse Act by officers from the Metropolitan police service's police central e-crime unit (PCeU)."

Scotland Yard cyber crime detectives spent Tuesday and Wednesday questioning Cleary, 19, over the attacks carried out by the LulzSec group, which mostly targeted websites belonging to institutions and companies in the US.

Computer equipment seized from his home was examined to see if it contained evidence linking him to the attacks.

Cleary will appear at City of Westminster magistrates court on Thursday morning.

The events leading to the arrest of Cleary involved an investigation by British police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI's involvement, plus the nature of the targets, raised the prospect that Washington may seek the teenager's extradition to the US.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2011
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