A 19-year-old man is now in custody after his arrest on suspicion of involvement with cyber attacks on Sony Corp. and the CIA website, British police said.
The arrest took place following a joint operation by its Internet crimes unit and the FBI, the Metropolitan Police said. The FBI refused to comment.
British police would not say if the suspect was a part of the Lulz Security hacking collective, which has claimed responsibility for some high-profile attacks, but confirmed they will examine a computer seized in the operation. Police declined to identify the suspect because they have not filed charges yet.
Lulz had boasted of successfully hacking Sony in addition to subsequent attacks on the CIA web page and the U.S. Senate computer system. The hackers called for “war” on governments that control the Internet.
Lulz appeared dismissive of the arrest, saying on Twitter it used the arrested man’s server, but that the man is not part of the group.
“Clearly the U.K. 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 authorities know little 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.
Police arrested the teenager in the commuter town of Wickford, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northeast of London on suspicion of hacking and fraud offenses and taken to a central London police station for questioning, police said.
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.”
Officers are conducting forensic examinations on “a significant amount of material” found in the search of a home following the arrest.