AFP arrest and charge LulzSec 'leader'

THE self-proclaimed leader of an Australian hacking group with links to the international Anonymous organisation was arrested in Sydney on Tuesday night.

An investigation by the Australian Federal Police cyber crime operations group led to a 24-year-old Point Clare man being charged with hacking offences.

AFP officers said they had not yet found a specific motivation behind the man's alleged cyber attacks, and could not identify which website was targeted revealing only it was not a Federal Government agency.

AFP manager for cyber crime operation Paul McEwen said police were able to arrest the man before any serious damage was done.

He said hacking was not harmless fun and the authorities would pursue anyone involved in such activities.

Mr McEwen said the man was identified through routine online monitoring by government authorities.

He said the Point Clare man had also admitted he was the leader of LulzSec, an Australian group with links to Anonymous.

Unconfirmed reports have cited various large corporate websites being hacked by LulzSec, but authorities could not confirm any direct links between the arrest and such cyber-attacks.

Mr McEwen said the man worked in a Sydney IT firm and had access to confidential and sensitive government information.

"It's not about magnitude of damage; it's about vulnerabilities within computer systems.

"The potential for such access has huge ramifications for society - the early intervention was something that needed to be done - the potential for damage was immeasurable."

The man was released on bail to appear in court on May 15.

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