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LulzSec Ringleader Arrested In Essex [Update]

David Gilbert



Just as hacktivists LulzSec claimed it had hacked all 2011 UK Census data, reports suggest a 19-year-old teenager has been arrested in Essex suspected of being the group’s ringleader.

Sky News and other media outlets are reporting that a joint operation between the FBI and Scotland Yard has led to a 19-year-old male being arrested in Wickford, Essex this morning, suspected of being the mastermind behind the hacktivist group called Lulz Security (or LulzSec) who have been behind a wave of cyber attacks in recent months. A Scotland Yard spokesman told Sky News: "The arrest follows 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. Searches at a residential address in Wickford, Essex, following the arrest last night have led to the examination of a significant amount of material. These forensic examinations remain ongoing." The Met and Essex Police are working "in cooperation" with the FBI, the spokesman said.

LulzSec Census 2011 UK

Reports emerged this morning that LulzSec’s latest victim was the vast volume of data contained in the 2011 UK Census. A document posted on PasteBin said that the group had obtained the data and was in the process of reformatting it before publishing it as a torrent file on Pirate Bay where anyone could download it. Should the claim prove accurate and the data become public, it will leave government officials red faced and with a huge crisis on their hands. A statement from the Office of National Statistics however this afternoon said: "At this stage we have no evidence to suggest that any such compromise has occurred."

On Monday evening the group carried out a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) forcing the agency to take its website offline for several hours. While Scotland Yard failed to say the arrest was linked specifically to this DDoS attack, it would seem that LulzSec’s latest choice of target has gotten it into hot water. The group has used Twitter extensively to disseminate information about its attacks but at the time of publishing the account had no activity for eight hours. Initially attacking companies like Sony, Nintendo and other games sites, LulzSec has recently being upping the ante with attacks on the likes of the FBI, CIA and now SOCA in the UK.

The 19-year-old is still in custody in a police station in central London and we will keep you up to date as events unfold throughout the day.

Update: LulzSec has been back on Twitter in the past hour to say that the person arrested wasn't a member of its group and that the Pastebin post was a fake. The first tweet said: "Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it's all over now... wait... we're all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?" while a subsequent tweet added: "Just saw the pastebin of the UK census hack. That wasn't us - don't believe fake LulzSec releases unless we put out a tweet first." So the mystery continues. Scotland Yard is still not officially saying whether or not the teenager they arrested was believed to be a member of LulzSec so we'll have to wait for an official statement from them. We'll keep our ears open and let you know as soon as we do.

Source: Sky News and LulzSec (Twitter)


June 21, 2011, 7:18 pm

He'll be 'working' for The MI6 or The NSA by this time next week.


June 21, 2011, 7:27 pm

By obtaining the 2011 census, LulzSec have shown us that the UK Government is ineffective at protecting our data... oh wait, we already knew that from countless past cock-ups. No, LulzSec have shown us (once again) that they are immature, petty and amoral gits.

Are they obtaining evidence of illegal collusion between corporations or government bodies? Are they publishing proof of companies' tax avoidance schemes and other scams that hurt the taxpayer? Er no, they're publishing the personal data of normal people - AGAIN. They don't give a toss about the average citizen and are only interested in showing off. They do absolutely no favours to the "cause" they now claim to represent; in fact they can only harm it.

End result of all these activities? If and when someone carries out a hack or attack that's genuinely in the public interest, most people won't be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt; and will be only too happy to hand over increased powers to the authorities to crack down on internet freedom. Own goal LulzSec.


June 21, 2011, 8:02 pm

Come on people, LulzSec has never said they hacked the UK Census.

Anyone can post anything anonymously on Pastebin. For example I could pretend to be LulzSec posting on PasteBin saying TrustedReviews has been hacked and its user information stolen, but that doesn't mean LulzSec has!

And also, in my opinion it would be foolish and silly to assume this 19-yr old to be the leader of LulzSec.


June 21, 2011, 9:56 pm

As usual the normal media can't make heads or tails of this story.

Read a better description here:


Anonymous were the ones who publicly posted this now arrested guy's details, including home address in a pastebin last month. They did this as a revenge for him posting IRC conversations of AnonOps.

He wasn't caught thanks to any fantastic police work from the FBI and Scotland Yard.

Not even sure what he's guilty of, but that's probably irrelevant when you have such .Gov types looking for something they can hold on to.


June 22, 2011, 1:16 am

Your doing it again MrGodfrey, The governments & large cooperates love people like you. Don't blame our government for having lapse security, and large cooperates not protecting your information. It's really irrelevant if LulzSec are the good or bad guys, the point is they got in. And I'm sorry to inform you there are bad people out there, maybe even worse than LulzSec, IOW: your getting angry at the wrong people mate.


June 22, 2011, 11:39 am

LulzSec? Is it a name anybody can believe in? Ha ha ... Only 5 years old retarded kids could pick a name like this.
And they are called hacktivists? And they have a Twitter account and nobody pretty easily can't arrest them after a few minutes?
Internet people getting more stupid by the minute. Soon every freedom will be removed and internet will be a living hell.


June 22, 2011, 5:33 pm

I don't have a twitter account, but I didn't realise that you had to provide documentary evidence (passport, birth certificate, driving license, banking details, etc) to confirm you are, who you say you are?

I would be interested to know what name you would have picked?

'And they are called hacktivists?' - is this a jibe at them (an therefore I would assume you are part of the hacking community), or a legit question???

'Internet people' - who are you referring to exactly?

I just don't know how to respond to a post like yours, please clarify the above.


June 22, 2011, 5:48 pm

IMO, at the moment Lulzsec are just a nusience that are exposing the serious security issues that major international organisations have.

They haven't done anything 'seriously' wrong as yet and even let the NHS know of security holes without exploiting them. Based on what they have seen Lulzsec do, other companies, not hacked, will be looking to improve their security and that can't be a bad thing.

The problem lies in that Lulzsec might have some ethical boundaries (consider what they could have done if they wanted to), other groups/ individuals are unlikely to have and then a 'major' breach might happen.

Personally, I have my own [most likely silly] conspiracy theory that they are really the US government building up hatred towards such groups, so they along with their blind partners i.e. UK, will have the political will and public backing for tight controls over the internet and the freedom we have all enjoyed on the internet will disappear. Just look at the recent Anandtech regarding political donations and the US law they want to bring to give 5 year jail sentences - just for downloading a TV programme. Corporations owning politics... what a great idea :(

Its all silly, until it becomes a reality and it's too late to do anything about it.


June 23, 2011, 5:45 pm

Keithe6e: And you're making excuses for these fools again. I'll overlook your deliberately patronising tone (in helpfully informing me that there are "bad people" out there) in the interests of continuing a civil conversation. But as my post made abundantly clear I have no love for the government and large corporations, and am happy to see their shadier activities exposed through responsible "hacktivism" if necessary. That is not what LulzSec are doing. What they are doing is obtaining my personal data and making it available to others without my permission. It's really irrelevant if worse scumbags are able to do the same; on this and other occasions it was LulzSec who did it.

If a stranger climbs into my hotel room or apartment window then I may well be angry at the establishment for their lack of security, but I'm hardly going to put down the bat and wish the intruder a good day because he says "I'm only trying to help, good thing I'm not a murderer eh". Similarly I am indeed angry at Sony and the Government but that does not excuse these fools.

On the contrary, I am particularly angry at LulzSec because, as Neil873 suggests, their actions and their attitude will only make it easier for the Government to brand all "hacktivists" as irresponsible criminals; it will make it easier for them to pass and enforce laws restricting internet freedom. So no, the Government do not love "people like me". They love people like LulzSec, playing right into their hands.

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