FBI Raids US Home Of Suspected Lulzsec Hacker

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The net tightens around hacktivists, as the FBI raids the home of another suspected Lulzsec member

The FBI has raided the US home of a suspected member of Lulzsec, the hacker group behind attacks on the Serious and Organised Crime Agency website, the NHS, Sony and others.

The net appears to be tightening around the short-lived but high profile hacktivist group, which ‘disbanded’ this week.

The group might have made life easy for the authorities, outing via Pastebin the names, addresses and IP addresses of members it says had ‘snitched’ on them.

One of those named was a resident of Hamilton, Ohio, the town where this latest arrest took place.

Global hunt

Last week 19-year-old Ryan Cleary from Essex was arrested by officers from the Met’s Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) group in a joint, intelligence-led operation with the FBI.

He was charged with computer misuse offences and released on conditional bail on Monday.

In recent months, raids resulting from probes into hackers Anonymous and Lulzsec have gained momentum, since the former took on the film and music industries and then took up the cause of WikiLeaks in its battle with the US government.

Global co-operation between law enforcement agencies has now resulted in arrests across Europe, Turkey and the US.

Court date

As part of his bail conditions Cleary, who is agoraphobic and suffers from Aspergers syndrome, must wear an electronic tag, adhere to a curfew, and is barred from accessing the Internet. He is also not allowed to leave his home without his parents.

Cleary is due to return to Southwark Crown Court on 30 August to answer charges of building a botnet and launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the websites of SOCA, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Lulzsec denied that Clearly was an active member of the group, despite claiming responsibility for the SOCA attack for which Cleary is charged.

The BPI and IFPI charges appear to coincide with an Anonymous campaign against the music industry.

Lulzsec announced last weekend that it was calling time on its 50-day spree of high profile web attacks via Twitter, which it had used to taunt victims and enemies and garner huge publicity. The group gained more than a quarter of a million followers in just a few weeks.

In that time, Lulzsec claimed to have stolen data from Sony, Nintendo and Arizona police as well as brought down the websites of the US Senate, CIA and Brazilian government with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

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