'LulzSec suspect' arrest makes for interesting headlines

Filed Under: Denial of Service, Law & order, Malware, Vulnerability

The arrest of a 19-year-old man suspected of being connected with the LulzSec internet attacks against various organisations has certainly made the headlines.

Here's a selection of today's front pages here in the UK. Of course, it's worth bearing in mind that it's rarely the journalist who choose the headline for the story.

Hacker headlines. Click for larger version

As Dan Raywood, a security reporter with SC Magazine, pointed out on Twitter, The Sun should win a special accolade for getting the words "geek, nerd and oddball in the first 100 words" of their report.

Nothing like a stereotype, eh?

Meanwhile the Daily Mail portrays the teenager as a "cyber terrorist" on its front page, alongside a school picture of the suspect taken when he was just 13 years old. I couldn't find the T-word in their online report, however.

The Daily Mirror and the irritatingly monikered "i" portray Ryan Cleary in ways we've come to expect from the media: "World's No 1 hacker suspect" (and an interview with his mum) and "teen cyber mastermind" respectively. I humbly suggest that chances are that Cleary will turn out to be neither of those things.

The Times is more conservative, with the factual "Essex teenager linked to wave of global hacking", and the Financial Times finishes off our round-up with "Police arrest suspected CIA hacker" (No matter that the CIA didn't get hacked - it got denial-of-service'd, such technicalities are too complicated for the front page of a newspaper).

My guess is that this isn't the end of the story - no doubt there will be more headlines to come.

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13 Responses to 'LulzSec suspect' arrest makes for interesting headlines

  1. Richard · 1534 days ago

    The FT page makes it look like Ken Clarke was the suspected CIA hacker. :o)

  2. Dr-Mx · 1534 days ago

    As Anonymous and LulzSec have announced, he wasn't even a hacker or part of their group, he just hosted an IRC server that LulzSec had a channel on.
    The mainstream media love to use scaremongering tactics to sell papers. Sadly there's plenty of people who will believe it.

  3. dman · 1534 days ago

    lulz! Wrong person! lulz!

  4. Parhcester · 1534 days ago

    Ah, the great British press in full baying frenzy. The same papers who will tell you that our justice system is the best in the world. What chance of a fair trial for the poor geeky-nerdy kid now he's already been hung out to dry?

  5. James · 1534 days ago

    Leave it to the MSM to screw up that facts. Thats normal procedure now days. Just create the news or make it up. This manhunt is going to be the most compelling story happening though. The hacker kids had a free ride for the past 15 years but I think the party is going to come to an abrubt end up and coming here along with any delusions they may have of "invinicibility hiding out in mom's basement" or mooching off the girlfriend.

  6. anon · 1534 days ago

    Just more BS from the Press and Police... they don't have a clue who the Mastermind is behind this and never will lol This dude has not got a clue how to perpetrate or Implement these attacks. And I also doubt that the CIA was ever hacked this really smacks of Gov Lies and deception.

  7. This is the typical response from the uneducated.

    Ryan Cleary, Hosted IRC Servers, was a Fan of Wikileaks and used to be a Forum moderator for a short spell before trying to get involved with the wrong people. Crossing a few random anonymous users on a Forum who decided to name and shame him.

    Since then he's been hanging out on forums, IRC channels and sites where the various hackers do business and decided to run his own IRC server. No more guilty than hosting a website. However he probably picked up a fair bit of info in the process, I doubt he knows anything of any importance or detail.

    At best he's a wannabe who was unlucky enough to get picked up by the less than competent Cyber Crime Division.

    Isnt it amazing what you can find out with the right search terms and knowing the right places to enter them. (From the looks of some search results he used to be a forum mod on AnonOps and was kicked off the FourChan boards)

    (By the way, this info was collected from Google, Twitter, Some News sites and some blogs running back quite some time.) I dont care enough to go digging any deeper.

  8. Jack · 1534 days ago

    Yes, Dr-Mx, I too feel bad for those sad, sad people who believe the police rather than LulzSec! Why is the tweeted word of these pirate thieves who've betrayed the personal info of hundreds of thousands of people not good enough for SOME brainwashed sheeple, who insist on believing the "evidence" in the "seized computers" that'll be entered into the court trial by The Man and the so-called police forces?!?!!!

    Police forces TOTALLY do stuff that it would NOT be okay for a regular person to do! For instance, right here, they've seized Ryan's computer equipment! That would be theft if I did it!! Police order people around, and demand their identification, and even tell people to lie on the ground! And I'm not allowed to do that to other people! So where's the justice in this system at all??? Row row fight teh powah!

    /<end sarcasm>

    • Dr-Mx · 1534 days ago

      Thanks for the perspective.

      It's important to not believe anyone, but just keep an open mind.

    • spookie · 1533 days ago

      Dugg down for worst use of the <sarcasm> tag this year.

  9. GreyGeek · 1534 days ago

    Rather than excellent investigative work by police "experts", I've read that it was his "mum" who outed him to the police, probably because he was shooting off his mouth bragging about things he never really did and it scared his mum. A classic script kiddie, he would be living in his mum's basement, if she had a basement.

  10. spookie · 1533 days ago

    This kid is no more a hacker than my mom is. If they can't catch the real crackers, they can just pin it on this script kiddie wannabe.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at https://grahamcluley.com, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley