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British teenager Ryan Cleary is released on bail following charges of hacking into a law enforcement agency’s website.

The group claiming to be behind attacks on Sony and CIA are anxious over anonymity but thrive on publicity as leaked chatroom logs show.

Leaked discussions between members of the internet hacking group LulzSec, seen and published by The Guardian, provide the first insight into the team behind a series of audacious online attacks.

LulzSec claims to have been behind attacks in recent weeks on websites around the world, including the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), the US Senate and the CIA, as well as the games firms Nintendo and Sony.

Some of the imagery used by LulzSec online.Some of the imagery used by LulzSec online.

Leaked logs from LulzSec’s private chatroom reveal how one hacker known as “Sabu“, believed to be a 30-year-old security consultant, in effect controls the group of between six and eight people, keeping the others in line and warning them not to discuss their exploits.

Another, “Kayla“, provides a large botnet – a network of infected computers controlled remotely – to target websites with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which make those sites work inefficiently or not at all.

A third member, “Topiary“, manages the public image, including the LulzSec Twitter feed.

Bailed ... Ryan ClearyAccused … Ryan Cleary. Photo: AFP

The logs reveal that the members are obsessed with their coverage in the media, especially in physical newspapers, sharing pictures of coverage they have received in the Wall Street Journal and other papers. They also engineered a misinformation campaign to make people think they were a US-government-sponsored team.

Members express their enmity towards a rival called the Jester – an ex-US military hacker who usually attacks jihadist sites, but has become embroiled in a dispute with WikiLeaks, LulzSec and the notorious hacker group Anonymous over the leaked diplomatic cables and, more recently, LulzSec’s attacks on US government websites, including those of the CIA and Senate.

A lone-wolf hacker, originally thought to be the Jester, temporarily crippled LulzSec’s website at the weekend. Another activist known as Oneiroi later claimed responsibility for the attack but did not give an explanation.

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