An Ohio male may be linked to the recent cyberattacks that hit government and corporate sites in the U.S. and U.K and led to the arrest of U.K. teen Ryan Cleary, according to Ohio news sources.
Mike Brooks, a spokesman for the FBI's Cincinnati office, told CNET today that he couldn't comment beyond the fact that on Monday the FBI executed a sealed federal search warrant in Saint Clair Township. He also said he couldn't comment on the identity of the target of the investigation.
"I've been asked questions if that's related to the LulzSec case or to the arrest of Ryan Cleary in Great Britain, and I can't comment, either to confirm or deny that," Brooks added.
No one was charged after the warrant was served, Brooks told WKRC. But deputies from the local county were on standby outside the house while the search was being conducted, according to Deputy Chief Anthony Dwyer.
Some reports say the male may have been one of the people who gave authorities information about Ryan Cleary, leading to the 19-year-old's arrest in the U.K. last week. A story in the U.K.'s Mail Online said that LulzSec named two such people on the Web site PasteBin, including someone with the handle m_nerva, who was revealed as a resident of Hamilton, Ohio, which is located in Saint Clair Township. LulzSec claimed this person was "'involved in the hacking of the game 'Dues Ex' and was/is involved in countless other cybercrimes."
Cleary was arrested on suspicion of having a role in the cyberattacks launched by the group LulzSec over the past two months that have hit several prominent Web sites, including the U.S. Senate, FBI partner InfraGard Atlanta, and PBS, among others.
Cleary allegedly had a connection with LulzSec, which itself was spun off from the "hactivist" group Anonymous, with whom Cleary may have also been affiliated, sources recently told CNET. LulzSec has denied that Cleary was ever a member but acknowledged that it used his computer to host a chatroom.
Clarification at 9:10 a.m. PT: CNET removed references to the age of the Ohio male from this story. Several news reports are referring to him as a teen, but it is unclear where that information is coming from.