Teenager arrested as LulzSec investigations continue apace

As reported previously, a 19-year-old man from Wickford, Essex, was arrested by the PCeU (Police Central eCrimes Unit) in the small hours of Tuesday morning. The arrest was made in connection with a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on various organisation's websites and servers.

Infosecurity's sources suggest that Scotland Yard and their colleagues in other law enforcement agencies in Europe and the US have been working hard to trace the IP sources of the DDoS attacks on various sites, including those of the CIA in the US and SOCA in the UK.

Scotland Yard is reportedly not linking yesterday's arrest with the LulzSec attacks, but is quoted by the BBC as saying it had been a "pre-planned, intelligence-led" operation.

"However, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said the Metropolitan Police's e-crimes unit had confirmed the raid was linked to the recent intrusion attacks on the websites of the CIA and Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)," noted the BBC.

The 19-year-old has been confirmed as being arrested under the Computer Misuse Act and Fraud Act.

Reaction to news of the arrest has been positive. Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant with Sophos, said that LulzSec has been playing a dangerous game.

"Their Twitter account, which has more than 220,000 followers, has become increasingly vocal - embarrassing computer crime authorities and large organisations around the world with their attack", he said.

"There has been much speculation recently regarding who might be behind LulzSec - if the group has now been cracked then it will send a strong message to others thinking about engaging in their own hacks or denial-of-service attacks", he added.

According to Cluley, who has been vociferous in damning the actions of Anonymous and LulzSec, what everyone will now be looking for is whether LulzSec's Twitter account is updated, and if so - what does it say about the arrest?

"Will it be a case of 'who Lulz last, laughs longest", he quipped.

Over at network auditing and security specialist Idappcom, CEO Ray Bryant said that IT security professionals need to raise the security posture of their organisations, both in response to the arrest, and the fact that the DDoS attacks are causing so many problems.

The need to raise the security bar - by enhancing an IT platform's ability to detect and prevent malicious code from `breaking through' the network perimeter - has never been greater, he explained.

The attacks against SOCA and other sites, he says, were not damaging but a new Twitter post has threatened that future attacks will be.

"Whether or not any tangible harm has been done to systems and data assets, there is considerable damage caused to the trust we place in agencies who are funded by taxpayer", he said.

"Against this backdrop there is a clear and present need to defend any organisation's IT platform as never before. This can only be achieved by raising the security bar at the point where traffic enters and or leaves you network", he added.

Bryant went on to say that the recent - and promised future - attacks are all based around denial of service.

"Future attacks may be combined with evasion techniques but they both be countered and solved by using automated tools for audit and Penetration testing of your perimeter defences to ensure they are configured to detect effectively and that your security rules are doing the job they are supposed to", he said.

"Ensuring your perimeter defences are always operating at the highest level is the best form of defence. This does not mean that you have to slow down your traffic, the same tools can be used to tune your Intrusion detection to be more efficient", he added.


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