British Police Arrest 'Anonymous' Member, Media Gets Story Wrong

UK police have arrested a 19-year-old Essex man in connection with recent hacking attacks. Alas, it doesn't seem likely, as some media reports suggest, that this guy is a "mastermind" of the Lulz Security hacking group.

The police say the man was arrested following an investigation into "network intrusions" and attacks "against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is to be believed to be the same hacking group." Everyone is rushing to say that it's a member of Lulzsec, the rampaging hacking group that's attacked Sony, PBS and practically every other entity with a website. Our data is safe!

But Lulzsec has responded to the arrest with a dismissive tweet:

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?

Word on Twitter is that the British cops didn't nab a member of Lulzsec. The arrestee is actually a former high-profile member of the Anonymous hacking group named Ryan Cleary. Fed up what he called the oppressive "hierarchy" of Anonymous, Cleary was recently accused of sabotaging his former colleagues by hacking Anonymous' chat servers and leaking all their passwords. Cleary's relationship to Lulzsec seems to be that the group had a room on a chat server he ran. (One of a number of such rooms on different chat servers.) Not much of a mastermind.

So, yeah, at best it seems the police have captured a dissident member of Anonymous—one who very well could have been involved in some criminal stuff. But Lulzsec still hacks on.

Oh, and speaking of misinformed news reports: Lulzsec was widely reported to have stolen the entire UK 2011 census this morning. It was actually some rando putting out a fake press release. "That wasn't us - don't believe fake LulzSec releases unless we put out a tweet first," tweeted Lulzsec. Hacker madness!

[Image via Getty]