SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian Federal Police said on Wednesday they had arrested a man who they described as a senior member of the group that hacked websites of major corporations, including Sony Pictures, last year.

Police said the 24-year-old man, the self-styled leader of the LulzSec hacking collective, was charged on Tuesday with hacking offences.

LulzSec, an offshoot of the international hacking group Anonymous, has taken credit for hacking attacks on government and private sector websites, including 20th Century Fox and Nintendo.

Anonymous - and LulzSec in particular - became notorious in late 2010 when they launched what they called the "first cyber war" in retaliation for attempts to shut down the Wikileaks website.

(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Paul Tait)