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Top cop says Cleary arrest 'very significant'

Britain's coppers appear to have got their knickers in a twist over the online antics of LulzSec, the group causing anxiety and angst among governmental bodies with an online presence, and much mirth amongst the rest of us.

Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson has described the on-going campaign that has claimed such sites as that of the Serious Organised Crime Agency as "extraordinarily significant" and "deeply worrying".

You'd think someone had died.

In this context he also described the arrest (opens in new tab) of Essex teenager Ryan Cleary as "very significant".

What is also a bit worrying is the amount of police hours that are being poured into catching a bunch of pimply youths mucking about online. Like if you have a look around the Soca web site (opens in new tab)that LulzSec took down it's basically a propaganda instrument for the Agency, with officers pictured aiming their guns at things and - currently - bags of cocaine.

Who really suffers if this is taken offline for a few hours by a DDoS attack? Who gets hurt?

A few 'serious' plod get a bit of a ribbing down the pub after a hard day grilling narks and sampling confiscated class As.

Meanwhile, the FBI's overzealous hacker hunt seems to have done more real damage than LulzSec has thus far managed.

There is little doubt that Cleary's arrest was in connection with investigations into LulzSec. No doubt Anonymous figures in that investigation too, and certainly the teenager's computers are likely to house a bunch of information that may be of interest to the fuzz.

A couple of DDoS tools maybe; some porn links, no doubt and, certainly, it seems, some of LulzSec's IRC chat logs, since he hosted most of those.

LulzSec members have distanced themselves from Cleary, as we wrote earlier. Cleary evidently caused a rift in Anonymous, maybe doing the plod a favour. So what do they have?

Some poor kid in custody; a high-profile arrest to prove they're capable of doing something. And beyond that? Even if CLeary does prove to be LulZSec's kingpin, so what?.

LulzSec's hacking is like the new graffiti. Instead of Kilroy (opens in new tab) on a wall, we have Lulz on a web site.

Big deal.

Update 16:55

Cleary has just been charged with offences contrary to the Computer Misuse Act, the Met confirmed. He wiil appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on June 23. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.