UK court rules LulzSec hacker to remain in police custody

Ryan Cleary will remain in police custody for up to three more days for questioning

A 19-year-old British man who remains the lone suspect detained for a series of successful cyberstrikes by the hacking group Lulz Security will remain in police custody until at least Saturday, a London court ruled Thursday.

Ryan Cleary, of Wickford, Essex, was arrested on Monday following a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack against the website for the U.K. Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), an operation for which Lulz Security claimed responsibility.

He appeared in Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday morning and did not enter a plea. The judge ruled there was insufficient information to set bail and that Cleary could face additional charges, according to a court official. He will have another hearing at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Cleary was charged on Wednesday with five computer-related offenses and stands accused of distributing tools to build a botnet used to attack SOCA as well as websites of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in November 2010 and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in October 2010.

In an interview with the Daily Mail published on Thursday, the man's mother, Rita, said her son was unemployed and suffers from attention deficit disorder and agoraphobia. Her son had not left the house since last Christmas and spent nearly all of time in his room with his computer.

Lulz Security, which continued its DDOS rampage on Wednesday with attacks against Brazilian government websites and that of the energy company Petrobras, said following Cleary's arrest that he "at best, mildly associated" with the group and hosted one of its IRC chat rooms on his server.

The group, which also goes by "Lulzsec," is believed to be an offshoot of Anonymous, a dispersed collective of so-called "hacktivists" who have conducted DDOS campaigns against government and businesses whose policies they find offensive.

LulzSec warned on Wednesday on Twitter that it is preparing for a major leak of information on Friday, part of its "Antisec" operation. The group has repeatedly found major holes in Web security, attacking websites belonging to the CIA, PBS.org, Fox.com and when possible, stealing data such as passwords and log-ins and then releasing the information on its website.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

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Tags cybercrimelegalCriminalLulz Security

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
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