Teen held in Sony hacking
LONDON — A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of involvement with cyber attacks on Sony and the CIA website, British police said yesterday.
The arrest, the Metropolitan Police said, took place following a joint operation by its Internet crimes unit and the FBI. The FBI declined to comment.
British police would not say if the suspect is tied to the Lulz Security hacking collective, which has claimed responsibility for recent high-profile attacks, but they confirmed a computer seized in the operation will be examined for Sony data. Police declined to identify the suspect because he has not been charged.
Lulz had boasted of hacking Sony in addition to mounting subsequent attacks on the CIA Web page and the US Senate computer system. The hackers recently called for war against governments that control the Internet.
Lulz appeared dismissive of the arrest, saying on Twitter that it used the arrested man’s server, but that the man is not part of the group.
“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,’’ it Tweeted.
Although little is known about Lulz, hacker collectives are typically loose networks with diffuse supporters in more than one location, so an arrest could do little to bring down an organization and even encourage supporters to carry on a group’s cause.
The teenager was arrested in Wickford late Monday on suspicion of hacking and fraud offenses and taken to a London police station for questioning.
Police said the arrest resulted from an investigation into network intrusions and distributed denial-of-service attacks against “a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group.’’
Lulz has taken credit for hacking into Sony Corp. — where more than 100 million user accounts were compromised — and defacing the PBS website after the US public television network aired a documentary seen as critical of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The hackers also say they are responsible for attacks on the CIA website and the US Senate computer system.
Most recently, Lulz said it had compromised the security of more than 1,000 accounts of an FBI partner organization and brought down the website of Britain’s FBI equivalent.