The 19-year-old arrested in the U.K. on Monday has officially been charged for violating both the Criminal Law Act and the Computer Misuse Act.
According to a report released by the Metropolitan Police, Ryan Cleary of Wickford, Essex (that’s his house in the above photo) has been charged with participating in an attack against SOCA—the U.K.’s government-funded Serious Organised Crime Agency—as follows:
“On 20th June 2011 did an unauthorised act namely a Distributed Denial of Service attack against the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, at a time when you knew that it was unauthorised either intending by doing the act or being reckless as to whether the act would enable the operation of a computer to be impaired, access to a program or data held in a computer to be prevented or hindered, or the operation of a program or the reliability of data held in a computer to be impaired.”
SOCA’s website is located at soca.gov.uk and found itself the subject of a tweet posted to LulzSec’s Twitter account on Monday: “Tango down – soca.gov.uk – in the name of #AntiSec”—AntiSec being the recently-announced joint venture, as it were, between LulzSec, Anonymous and any other hacking group looking to “open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path,” according to a document posted by LulzSec.
As for Cleary’s arrest, LulzSec’s latest Twitter updates (as of 5pm here on the East Coast) include things such as: “Ryan Cleary charged with botnet-related crimes unrelated to LulzSec” and “Ignorant press have failed to realize that actual authorities – i.e. Scotland Yard – didn’t imply in the slightest that Ryan was LulzSec.”
The most recent: “Interesting – they charge him with the SOCA attack, maybe he hit SOCA after we did? It was suspiciously down again after we let it up.”
Cleary has indeed been charged with attacks unrelated to the SOCA attack—one from October and one from November of last year—and authorities have never come out and said that he’s a member of LulzSec. The SOCA attack, however, finds both Cleary and LulzSec going after the same target.
That’s not to say that Cleary’s a “member” of LulzSec—he may simply fit under the umbrella of “any vessel, large or small” that LulzSec has encouraged “to open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path”—but if there happens to be any useful information about the group in the “significant amount of material” found at the time of Cleary’s arrest, it’ll be no laughing matter for Lulz.