Hacking group claims Brazil targets after British arrest

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An international hacking group said Wednesday it had knocked out two Brazilian government websites, as British police questioned a teenager over a string of global cyberattacks including on the CIA.

Lulz Security group said in a series of Twitter postings that it had taken down the sites for the government and presidency of Brazil. Neither website appeared to be working early Wednesday.

"TANGO DOWN www.brasil.gov.br and www.presidencia.gov.br," said one posting, followed by another saying: "Our Brazilian unit is making progress. Well done @LulzSecBrazil, brothers!".

The group also downplayed the arrest by Scotland Yard's cybercrime unit on Monday of 19-year-old Ryan Cleary from Wickford in Essex, near London, in connection with the Lulz attacks.

Reports identified him as Ryan Cleary and quoted his mother Rita as saying that he had agoraphobia and attention deficit order. She said he was an introverted young man who "lives his life on line."

A Scotland Yard spokesman told AFP he remained in custody at a central London police station on Wednesday and is being questioned. A police source described his arrest, made with help from the FBI, as "significant".

But Lulz said that Cleary was not part of the group.

"Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server, but that's it," it said on Twitter.

"Clearly the UK police are so desperate to catch us that they've gone and arrested someone who is, at best, mildly associated with us. Lame."

The group has carried out a month-long rampage on businesses and government agencies including the US Central Intelligence Agency, the US Senate electronics giant Sony, and Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency.

© 2011 AFP

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