LONDON (Reuters) - British police investigating a series of computer hacking attacks on international companies and intelligence agencies said on Tuesday they had arrested a 19-year-old man in eastern England.
London's Metropolitan Police, working with America's FBI, said they had arrested the teenager in the town of Wickford, close to the British capital, on suspicion of computer misuse and fraud offences.
He is being investigated in connection with an attack on a website run by the British police Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), which targets Organized crime in Britain and overseas, police said.
His computer is being checked for other possible attacks including against Japanese electronics company Sony Corp.
"The arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group," the London force said.
It said forensic officers were now examining "a significant amount of material" following searches at the home where the arrest took place.
The teenager was being held at a central London police station.
Hackers have carried out a series of attacks on international firms and organizations in recent weeks, including the International Monetary Fund, Lockheed Martin Corp, Citigroup Inc, Google and Michaels Stores.
The loosely Organized hacker group Lulz Security has claimed hacks into websites owned by Sony as well as the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service and Fox.com. Fox is a unit of News Corp.
SOCA's website, which is used purely for public information, went down for a short time on Monday before being brought back up.
Like many others, it was likely a denial-of-service attack in which Lulz hackers bombarded the site with so many messages that it went offline.
Hackers would not have had access to confidential data or information about ongoing operations, a SOCA spokesman said.
Lulz has sought to punish Sony for failing to secure data and released the data of its customers, exposing them to potential identity theft.
The group has also hacked into a U.S. Senate server, and claimed responsibility for temporarily knocking offline the CIA's public website.
(Reporting by Tim Castle and Avril Ormsby; Editing by Janet Lawrence)