A 19-year-old man suspected of hacking attacks on international businesses and intelligence agencies has been arrested, British police said Tuesday.
London's Metropolitan Police said the suspect is in custody on suspicion of hacking and fraud offenses following a joint operation by its Internet crimes unit and the FBI.
The man was arrested late Monday in a raid at his house in the commuter town of Wickford Essex, about 50 miles from London, in a raid described by Scotland Yard as a "pre-planned, intelligence-led operation." He was taken to a central London police station for questioning, police said.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said a search of his house led to a "significant amount of material," and forensic investigations continue.
The man is suspected of being the mastermind behind an international hacking group known as Lulz Security, which has claimed responsibility for high-profile attacks on targets such as Sony and the websites of the CIA, the U.S. Senate and the U.K.'s serious organized crime agency.
Most recently, Lulz Security said it had hacked into Britain's census data, obtaining the records of "every single citizen." Census officials said they were investigating the claim.
The group has taken to taunting victims of its attacks on Twitter using the handle "LulzSec." It issued a statement Monday calling for a united hacker effort against governments and organizations that control the Internet. It said it had hacked into an FBI partner organization on Sunday.
The group said it was teaming with fellow hacker collective, Anonymous, and encouraged others to fight corruption and attack any government or agency that "crosses their path" including banks and other "high-ranking establishments."
Larry Miller reported from London for this story, which contains material from The Associated Press