Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Teenager charged with cyber attack

The property in Wickford, Essex, where Ryan Cleary was arrested
The property in Wickford, Essex, where Ryan Cleary was arrested

A British teenager has been charged with carrying out a hacking attack against the website of the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Ryan Cleary, 19, is also accused of launching attacks on the websites of music bodies the British Phonographic Industry and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

He will appear in custody at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday charged with a total of five offences under the Criminal Law and Computer Misuse Acts, said Scotland Yard.

Cleary, was arrested at his family's home in South Beech Avenue, Wickford, Essex, yesterday as part of a Scotland Yard and FBI probe into LulzSec, a group which has claimed responsibility for hacking attempts on the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the US Senate and the CIA. LulzSec has denied that the teenager was a member of the group.

Cleary is charged with conspiring with other people on or before June 20 to create a remotely-controlled network of zombie computers, known as a "botnet", to carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, where websites are flooded with traffic to make them crash. He is accused of launching a DDoS attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency's website on June 20.

The teenager is also alleged to have carried out similar attacks against the British Phonographic Industry's website on October 29 last year and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's website on November 28 last year.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency, the British Phonographic Industry and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry all have their headquarters in London. It is understood that investigations are continuing into other alleged hacking attacks in the UK and abroad.

It had been claimed that LulzSec had stolen the entire 2011 UK census database, but this has been denied by the group and by the Office for National Statistics.

Census director Glen Watson said: "I can reassure the public that their census records are secure. We have strict measures in place protecting the nation's census information.

"The claim that hackers got in looks like a hoax and our investigation concluded that there is no sign of any suspicious activity. The alleged hackers have also denied any involvement."

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