back to article Alleged LulzSec hacker still inside

The Metropolitan Police are still holding a 19-year-old man on suspicion of involvement with the LulzSec group of hackers. LulzSec itself, via Twitter, refuted claims that he is some sort of leader. The group also posted the identities of two US residents they accuse of talking to police. The group warned: "There is no mercy …


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  1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    I wonder how many "lulz" this kid's having, now he's being held by Inspector Knacker at Her Maj's request?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I bet not many, but he was only running the chat server (IRC). Of course they were gonna say he's a big catch, but is he really? They have a huge data drop coming in the next days according to their Twitter feed, so they don't seem to be really phased.

    2. Scorchio!!

      Re: Hmmm....

      "I wonder how many "lulz" this kid's having, now he's being held by Inspector Knacker at Her Maj's request?"

      It would seem that his 'fear of the market place' claim has now been expanded to include Asperger's syndrome:

      So now the next logical step, after a preliminary assessment by 2 psychiatrists and one ASW, is transportation to a forensic ward. If the refusal to grant bail (currently under discussion) stands, I suspect that he will probably end up in a medium secure forensic unit, which is generally speaking an unpleasant place to be. The mental health route is far more unpleasant than the prison route.

      I have a feeling that these sorts of offences are likely to be treated in the same way as fire setting used to be, that is to say a long spell in Broadmoor secure hospital, Crowthorne, under section 37/41. It is probably better to take the prison option which, while it results in a criminal record, is not succeeded by a long spell of continual checks and reviews by community psychiatric teams, with the constant threat of recall if a relapse seems likely.

      This is not an easy option. Knacker of the Yard is a much comfier way forward. [linked to the appropriate sections under the MHA]

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Even if all he did was deliver their pizza the Met would contend that he's "a major player" just for the headlines and to appear as if they're doing something useful for a change.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      And did he just deliver the pizza?

      Or was he running an IRC chat server for planning and coordinating attacks? Did he participate in said attacks? Did have knowledge of other attackers of said attacks? All of which if true would be slightly more than just being the pizza delivery boy. They'd be more akin to letting bank robbers plan their blag in your parlour room while you chipped in with comments and helped with the planning. It would make you an accessory and possibly accomplice in the crime.

      I doubt the cops would be bothered arresting him unless they thought so too.

  3. DrXym Silver badge


    That's a new one. Usually hackers pretend that aspergers made them it.

    1. Jeremy 2
      Thumb Up

      Indeed :)

      You'll get downvoted for daring to say that of course but it's true.

      My family, and later myself, had to fight for damn near a two decades to get my Asperger's diagnosis. Despite a lifetime's history of behavioural and social problems, intelligence but inability to learn in class, special schooling from age 5 until I left compulsory education at 16 including 5 years at a residential special school, a lifetime of bullying and having no real friends, I could not get a diagnosis until well into adulthood.

      When I did finally get a piece of paper at the age of 23 that read "In my professional opinion, Jeremy X meets the diagnostic criteria for Asperger's Syndrome in accordance with......." , I FINALLY had the recognition that I needed and a document that said 'this person has these problems and this is why'. It was a huge relief. THAT is what AS diagnoses are for, not for excusing yourself from criminal activity.

      Suffice to say, it *really* pisses me off when people wheel out an AS diagnosis (sometimes surprisingly conveniently and rapidly obtained) as a mitigating circumstance when they find themselves in front of the beak.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        You're right

        I'm not dissing medically diagnosed conditions, just the usual excuses trotted out by hackers and their apologists. Most medically diagnosed conditions do not render someone incapable of distinguishing right from wrong and it's especially weak to hear it come from relatives who if they were at all as concerned as they say shouldn't have been letting them sit in front of a computer unsupervised in the first place. He knew damned well what he was doing and now he will face charges commensurate with whatever his involvement was. It may be that in sentencing his non-mitigating condition (assuming it to be real) is taken into account but that's another matter entirely.

        What's interesting is judging from all the thumbsdown that some pillocks think he has been set up, framed, or is otherwise innocent, as if anything he did is especially remarkable or difficult for someone so inclined. He may not be pulling the strings on LulzSec but its clear he is a major participant.

        1. Vic

          Is that so?

          > its clear he is a major participant.

          How is it clear?

          All we have so far is allegations. Until and unless he is proven guilty, his level of participation remains nothing more than speculation.


  4. Titus Technophobe
    Thumb Up

    The usual suspects?

    Does anybody else wonder why, when caught, these Internet vandals always seem to develop some psychological condition?

    Oft as not starting with 'A', and invariably expounded by the suspect's mother. I think on this occasion perhaps his mother should have flipped on a few pages in the dictionary of psychological disorders. The ‘Fear of open spaces’ shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

    If convicted here spending some time in a nice prison cell shouldn’t be too much of a problem, in fact if anything he might just come to enjoy his new home.

    Again, if this isn't possible, should the need arise either the CIA, or FBI would almost certainly be more than happy to provide a small crate for his trip out across the Atlantic.

    1. peyton?

      Doesn't it seem feasible

      That if you don't like going out and socializing, a PC and a net connection would be your only lifeline to keep from losing it?

    2. Bullseyed


      Every one of us could be "diagnosed with a psychological disorder" due to the inflated scope of psychology and other social "sciences". They're pumping out so many grads at these degree mills err I mean colleges that they have to keep inventing new things for them to "research" and charge money for.

      /boffin because social scientists aren't

      That being said, are you really surprised that a "criminal" has a mental issue? Usually they all do. Not that I agree that what LulzSec is doing should be a crime, I'm fine with what they've done.

      1. skeptical i

        Leave us not forget the pharmaceutical industry kickbacks ...

        ... and other incentives for doctors to make diagnoses and then prescribe the newest shiny shiny drugs for them. Obviously, there are bona fide incidents of mental conditions, and that some of them truly get more/ better benefit from newer meds, but when two- and three- year- olds (the "terrible twos") are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, attention- deficit disorder, oppositional- defiant syndrome, ad nauseum, and medicated accordingly, one has to question the whole system.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Check your facts

      Firstly, the kid is being questioned. He has not yet been charged with anything therefore not only has he not technically 'been caught', but there is also no evidence that he is an 'internet vandal'.

      Second, Agoraphobia is not a 'fear of open spaces'. It is a fear of getting into a situation that is difficult or embarrassing to get out of. This is why a SYMPTOM of Agoraphobia is not leaving the house.

      If he is finally charged and convicted and jailed, it is more likely that he would not 'enjoy his new home' but would be on suicide watch.

      Get off your soapbox and get educated.

      1. a cynic writes...
        Big Brother

        I agree with your second and third points, but...

        ...if you dig back a month (or follow links in the comment threads from yesterday) you will find a certain young lad describing hacking AnonOps after having been outed by another faction of the (increasingly poorly named) Anonymous in revenge. Looks like prima facie evidence to me.

        I'm just stunned he hasn't had his collar felt before. I can only assume his network traffic has been monitored for the last few weeks until plod had enough evidence to offer him a deal.

      2. Titus Technophobe
        Thumb Up


        @Peyton ….

        If a ‘PC and a net connection’ is indeed your only lifeline to keep from ‘losing it’, maybe you should think about what use you make of these facilities? If you fire up LOIC to DDOS the odd intelligence agencies web site the consequences being that they might just get a tad annoyed, and take punitive steps against you.


        I couldn’t agree more, most criminals probably have mental issues, that said it shouldn’t stop them getting punished for their crimes (or indeed in extreme cases, where mental issues are extenuating with regard to the crimes, incarcerated for the protection of others). However, unlike you, I and as it happens the legal system of the UK, do consider the activities of Lulzsec to be crimes.

        @AC 22nd June 2011 13:51 GMT

        > … evidence that he is an 'internet vandal'

        Possibly not, to my mind the admission that he has been involved with wikileaks would justify this description.

        > If he is finally charged and convicted and jailed, it is more likely that he would not 'enjoy his new home' but would be on suicide watch.

        Taking into account your point, and assuming that he is convicted. Perhaps he and his mother should have thought about that before he decided to do the crime? If he is so feeble minded that his mother needs to step in, maybe she should have monitored his Internet activity more closely?

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Want a shovel?

          Wikileaks are internet vandals now? Do you just write bad fiction about everybody you don't like?

      3. Vic

        Re: Check your facts

        > Agoraphobia is not a 'fear of open spaces'.

        Yes it is. It comes from the Greek.

        "Agora" is a forum, or marketplace, IIRC.


  5. andy gibson

    Master criminal?

    Usually portrayed as having huge underground fortresses where they take over the world but in reality its a nerdy kid in a bedroom in his mum's house. Not the meek inheriting the earth, but the Geek.

    1. Bullseyed



      If we're posting on this site, we're worse than him, so I'm not sure why people are so quick to throw around slurs.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    "Ryan was agoraphobic and has a history of mental illness but hes a fucking WIz on his Commadore 64"

    why is it all these hacker wannabees and these supposed young lads involved in

    breaking in to systems, hosting or otherwise having some involvment are all spasticated

    or have some other form of brain malfunction

    What a fuckign lame excuse

    1. Bullseyed


      Probably should learn the meaning of words before using them.

      Most forms of "mental illness" actually mean that the brain is working too effectively and the body cannot handle the output. Agoraphobia is a bit different, but would likely give someone improved abilities for concentration and definitely give them more time to read up on such things. Not to mention a detachment from society since they are not a part of society.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Re

        Mental illness != not responsible for his acts. Such things are determined by a multidisciplinary psychiatric team, after a relatively protracted period of assessment, usually no less than 3 months, on what was a section 37/court order (and still seems to be). Skivers, slackers and fakers are usually found out, though I've seen one case where a man was discharged and went on to commit the crime he said that he would; that might mean that he decided he could get away with it, of course. As to agoraphobia, or fear of the market place (tr from the original Greek, as used in the DSM), I fail to see how illicit activities could be excused on the basis of this. People do not necessarily commit crimes because they fear open spaces, nor because they are cooped up. Something else has to be going on and, should he persist with his claims, it will be for the judge and appointed court experts (that would be rule 17 IIRC) to agree whether or not a period of assessment in a forensic unit (usually secure, but I do know of one open ward) is necessary.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          I think that word does not mean what you think it means.

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: "forensic"

            "I think that word does not mean what you think it means."

            I think that you should not presume to look in the black box, since it is an impossible task. You will have a hint of my experience in forensic psychiatry from this and other posts, plus my experience in biological sciences. The term 'forensic' was first coined by John Locke, the philosopher, and was meant to denote 'of the courts'.


          2. Scorchio!!

            Re: "forensic"

            Here, search key 'forensic' of course:


            See also these:


            "Person, as I take it, is the name for the self. Where-ever a man finds, what he calls himself, there I think another may say is the same Person. It is a Forensick Term appropriating Actions and their Merit; and so belongs to intelligent beings capable of Law, and Happiness and Misery. This personality extends it self beyond present Existence to what is past, only by consciousness, whereby it becomes concerned and accountable, owns and imputes to it self past Actions, just on the same ground, and for the same reason, that it does in the present. (Locke, 1694/1975, p. 346)"


            Locke's Concept of a Person


            6. 'Person' is a forensic term, involving praise and blame, and a capacity to obey laws

            There, free education for you from someone with a qualification in the forensic sciences. Isn't the interwebs wunnerful? It means that the distance of 100 miles from my library is not a problem, because I can contribute to your sum of knowledge by means of sensibly constructed search terms. I have a copy of "An essay concerning human understanding" if you want me to adumbrate. Just ask. Aren't you pleased to have the expertise of someone with a forensic qualification *and* a qualification in molecular biology to help you? Good. I thought you would be. HAND!

    2. a cynic writes...

      Perhaps because...

      if you're playing with a full deck you're more sense?

  7. Matt Hawkins


    The tabloids are describing him as the World's number 1 hacker. This is clearly rubbish. He got arrested for a start so that pretty much crosses him of the list.

    The CIA, FBI and police are just annoyed a teenager walked all over their security ... when security is sort of their job. Not that they have actually proved anything yet.

    The whole Sony story is only a story because they were storing passwords in plain text. Whoever breached Sony was doing their customers a favour by highlighting how poor Sony's grasp of data management was. Sony should be prosecuted for breaching the data protection act.

    But I forgot. Our laws only apply in the UK. Shame the data protection act wasn't a US law and then it would apply to everyone.

    A prize for the first MP to have the balls to tell the US to stick their one-sided extradition arrangement.

    1. Deadly Headshot


      Seems people had been breaking into Sony's system and stealing identites for some time, Sony all the while denying it was happening. The "Sony Hack" was just a big hit - too big to ignore. I suspect its intention was to force Sony to lug the holes in its security...

    2. Cunningly Linguistic
      Black Helicopters

      UK Laws

      UK laws are indeed only applicable in the UK, but for some strange reason, apparently, US laws are applicable everywhere. Strange really.

  8. <user />


    These kids need to get out more.. and get laid.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I guess then they'd be known as


  9. MarkieMark1

    sounds sad

    "Cleary's mum told Sun Ryan was agoraphobic and has a history of mental illness"

    are these the kind of people we pressurize now? Let's hope he's given treatment rather than punishment at least

    1. Mike Richards


      Just because you may have an unspecified mental illness doesn't mean you are unaware of right and wrong. Should he be charged, it will be for his defence to bring the relevant medical information to the court's attention.

      1. Bullseyed

        Mike Richards

        If you're agoraphobic, there is a pretty high chance that you aren't part of society. Right and wrong are 100% relative to the society in question. The society that he is part of (the internet) has different definitions of right and wrong. He was acting within the reasonable bounds of his own society. Just because the police and media cannot understand that society does not make it any less valid.

        1. a cynic writes...

          That's an interesting defence.

          I can't wait to hear the next old school villain claim that it his society breaking the fingers of someone who offended against cultural norms is the right thing to do and "just because the police and media cannot understand that society does not make it any less valid" ;-)

          To be honest it's probably best to go with the "young & daft with the common sense of a whelk" defence. LulzSec's even given him a chance to claim that he was only hanging round with the bigger boys. It has the benefit of being believable to the jury without pissing them off.

          Anyway, having looked at a list of what people get for "computer misuse" ( the chances are he'll end up with a fine, a suspended sentence and community service order (teaching computers to grannies most likely).

          If you want to man the barricades over that, good luck to you. I won't.

        2. Scorchio!!

          Re: Mike Richards

          The stuff that you are making up does not cut it in the legal and psychiatric arena. If his responsibility is diminished, and if he is at risk of harming himself or others, there are specific routes open to the system, but your completely ignores case law and statutes. Playing games with words - what Wittgenstein called 'private language games' - will not work; from the perspective of psychiatry it is the effect of his behaviour on society at large that will determine, if at all, what happens to this individual. OTOH he may just find himself serving a spell inside, but then subsequently referred to a ward specialising in forensic psychiatry owing to depression and perhaps suicide risk. He would not go to a general psychiatric hospital due to the legal nature of his case.

    2. Scorchio!!

      Re: sounds sad

      "Let's hope he's given treatment rather than punishment at least"

      If he is guilty of an offence and successfully pleads diminished responsibility the route is a harder one than mere prison. If he gets section 37/41 the logical route is to the house on the hill in Crowthorne, Berks.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again

    "Because LulzSec attacked websites belonging to the US Senate, CIA and FBI there are fears that Cleary could face extradition to face charges in the US."

    Does this mean if I sent a letter bomb to the white house they'd extradite the postmaster general etc?

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    1. Cunningly Linguistic

      Mentall illness...

      ...does NOT equal "retarded" you fuckwit.

  13. Oliver Mayes

    Here we go again

    "Cleary's mum told Sun Ryan was agoraphobic and has a history of mental illness."

    Meaning, "My little angel is sick so can't possibly be prosecuted for any crime he's accused of, he couldn't help himself." Where have we heard that one before?

    "Ryan used to be part of WikiLeaks. He has upset someone doing that and they made a Facebook page having a go at him."

    Really? Someone was so upset they actually went on Facebook and set up a group? It's obviously the government harrassing him.

  14. mr_spigot
    Thumb Up

    Hacker in Wickford?

    Nice to see Lulz are so enthusiastic to clear Essex Man of any involvement. I'm sure they're right, I mean surely hackers live in Uzbekistan and the like, not just outside Basildon.

    Let me just add that he didn't have anything to do with WikiLeaks either - that was WickfordLeaks, and very boring it was too. Get it right peon masses (wtf?)...

  15. Bernard M. Orwell
    Black Helicopters

    Hang on a moment....

    "Cleary's mum told Sun Ryan was agoraphobic and has a history of mental illness"


    "there are fears that Cleary could face extradition to face charges in the US."

    I think there's a pattern forming here, no?

    America. Fuck, no.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "Cleary's mum told Sun Ryan was agoraphobic and has a history of mental illness"

      Oh dear. You're not fully up on the whole mental illness thing, are you?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cleary's mum told Sun Ryan was agoraphobic and has a history of mental illness

    The extradition battle begins ...

  17. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    Déjà vu

    Déjà vu

    I am rapidly forming the opinion that te ‘merkin legal/penal system is not about justice, its not about punishment, it’s not even about revenge (although I do believe revenge is a big part of the merkin legal system), no, its all about covering the arse of a bunch of incompetent idiots posing as security experts.

    So your systems got hacked, what do you do, extradite the hackers, have a show trial, and throw them in prison and then pretend you’ve scored some sort of flag waving victory. But then, that also suits the propagandists, tell the merkin proles that they have been attacked again, but its OK we got the perps and took revenge on them!!!

    Is the real crime the fact that the Senate, CIA and FBI sites were hacked, or the fact that the sites were hacked and the hackers told everyone that these sites, set up by highly paid professionals, have been hacked?

    Both Cleary and McKinnon should be extradited to merkin-land….. and given jobs as security consultants to tell these fucking idiots how to secure their sites

    1. John Wilson

      Erm. No.

      "Is the real crime the fact that the Senate, CIA and FBI sites were hacked, or the fact that the sites were hacked and the hackers told everyone that these sites, set up by highly paid professionals, have been hacked?"

      The crime is someone breaking in to a computer system. I don't care whether the root password was "flibble", the crime was bypassing the security of that system. Simple as that, and there is no other reasonable way of looking at it. If you work in IT, you should surely be aware of one very simple constant law of IT: Every system is vulnerable. Every single one. And anyone with sufficient motivation, and sufficient information can break in to a system. This is hardly news. It is not a crime to have your system broken in to by criminals.

      The crime is to break in to a computer system just "for lulz". The crime is to steal data off of those computer systems "for lulz" - just because you can. We used to call this "hackers" "script kiddies" and criminals. When did that change? Why now are people - who apparently work with IT systems, and are apparently aware of the inherent fragile battle between security and systems compromise now lauding these script kiddie criminals, and blaming the victim of crime?

      Should Sony have stored their data more securely? Yes, they should. And yes, that will come out in the wash. But think: why are people angry that Sony stored passwords insecurely: Because all systems are vulnerable!

  18. IoT1965

    Agraphobia, the new Aspergers

    Agraphobia appears to be a much better bet than Aspergers for avoiding the consequences of ones actions:

    (Daily Mail)

    Not sure it will help if an extradition request comes in from Uncle Sam.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Are you seriously referencing the Daily Mail?

      You couldn't have picked a less reliable source, especially when it comes to alleged benefits cheats.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Lulzsec says what

    It's interesting that Lulzsec only started popping up on the radar and carrying out these big hacks right around the time that a certain well known DDoSer had a big argument with another well known anon. leader.

    The fall out was featured here on the reg a couple weeks back. One of those people stayed with the anon. group and the well known DDoSer went his own way.

    Must just be a coincidence ;)

  20. Debe

    Volcano Base

    He’s not the mastermind, I’m sure the met desperately wish he was… that would make them look really good but I can just see in a few days them, finally, admitting that he has very little to do with it. Maybe enough to charge him… but certainly nothing that would do lasting damage to the hacking group bar give them additional news coverage.

    Daily Mail has some wonderful coverage of this story. Where they point out that the lad charged had TWO monitors, and pictures of naked ladies on his wall! So he must be a fucking deviant evil genius!

    I have 4 monitors which by Daily Mail standards must make me at least as evil as Ming the Merciless or possibly Megatron at the very least.

    I can just see the general population being really disappointed when/if LulzSec is finally unmasked and they don’t turn out to own a Volcano base staffed with minions in orange jumpsuits and hard hats armed with machine guns.

    1. Bullseyed

      Two of these things are not like the others

      About half of the people at the Fortune 500 company I work for have two monitors. Maybe that's why hippies whine about corporations being so evil.

      1. wayward4now

        Two of these things

        ~I~ have two monitors. You may safely rest your case.

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: Two of these things

          Oh. I have four plus the portable item. Oops.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      And from another DM article


      He was also responsible for hacking the computer game "dues ex". That's not my typo, by the way- that's just the quality of the 'mail's journalism.

  21. Hooch181


    The whole situation is just silly. So far they haven't even charged the kid and the more it goes on the more it sounds like they are desperate to find anyone...

    This is about revenge, not justice. Shame the people in authority (lol) seem hellbent on making themselves look even more like bufoons!

    Is a shame this kids life may be ruined by this, but he played the game and must have known the risks. I'll be very surprised if they get a legitimate conviction out of this.

  22. Peladon

    Laser sharks...

    ... are clearly old hat (pun intended). I now have a mental image of minions running round, all wearing hard hats. Each hard hat has a little machine gun either side of the wearer's head ('hard hats armed with machine guns').

    Recoil and noise may possibly be an issue :-).

    Eats shoots and leaves - insert punctuation of choice to make a number of different sentences :-P.

    No Debe. I'm genuinely not poking at you (in fun or otherwise). Just the image that came into my head when I read the posting... :-).

  23. Neil 51

    Apologies for my lack of empathy...

    .... but all that's been going round my head since I read the story:

    "Maybe he's agoraphobic."

    "Father Jack, scared of fighting? I don't think so"

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    BBC ...

    ... "Teenager Ryan Cleary charged with attacking websites including Serious Organised Crime Agency"

    So the courts decide, which is how it's supposed to work.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since hacking is treated more seriously than rape or murder these days

    I suspect this one will be spending some time at Her Maj's pleasure (assuming they don't simply extradite him to the US on the grounds the authorities there will "do him good and proper").

  26. Richard 26
    Thumb Up


    @Matt Hawkins: Funny you should say that...

  27. Sam Therapy
    Thumb Down

    Bread and Circuses

    The red tops spout their usual drivel, the public are fooled into thinking the police have done a great job and the dibble themselves scratch their useless fat arses and hang some poor sod out to dry.

    I do believe we've been here before. Several times.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Using Windows Vista Ultimate

    According to the Daily Fail he was running Vista. Sounds like he has a perfect alibi, no way his system could have been running long enough for him to have been involved.

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