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Teenager released without charge in investigation into LulzSec hacking

The 19-year-old had been arrested and held at a station in Dublin as part of a global investigation into computer hacking.

Image: infomatique via Flickr

Updated 11.40am

A 19-YEAR-OLD who had been arrested following an international investigation into the activities of the LulzSec hacking operation has been released without charge this morning.

A Garda spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that he wasn’t aware of a file in relation to the young man being forwarded to the DPP or another agency.

The man had been in custody at Terenure Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

It is believed that the teenager was held in connection with charges filed by the FBI against five people in the United States yesterday. Five people were charged in connection with that probe yesterday.

Documents unsealed by the FBI in a court in Manhattan yesterday alleged that the teenager had hacked the personal email account of a Garda officer who had forwarded emails from his work email to his personal account.

The FBI papers allege that the 19-year-old had then learned how to access a conference call being held between the Gardaí, the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies, and recorded one such conversation before he “disseminated the illegally-obtained recording to others”.

He is charged in those papers with one count of computer hacking conspiracy, and another of intentionally disclosing an unlawfully intercepted communication. Those two offences would carry a total of 15 years in prison if the 19-year-old is convicted of both.

Among the five people charged by the FBI is another person with an address in Galway, who is charged with two counts of ‘computer hacking conspiracy’. The FBI papers list him as being 25 years old, but it is understood that the person in question is actually 19.

If convicted, the Galway resident would face a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

The FBI papers allege that the two Irishmen, among others, conspired to hack the website of Fine Gael – which was attacked during last year’s general election campaign.

The papers also connect the men to hack of a security firm HBGary, which led to the compromising of data from 80,000 user accounts, and an attack on the computers of the FOX TV network from which details of 70,000 X Factor USA applicants were stolen.

Another person named in the papers, with an address in Chicago, is alleged to have hacked the computer systems of the intelligence firm Stratfor, leading to the release of employees’ emails which are currently being published by WikiLeaks.

Yesterday’s papers also revealed that a sixth man named, Hector Xavier Monsegur, has already pleaded guilty to several counts of hacking and hacking conspiracy. He faces a maximum sentence of 124 years and six months in prison.

More: FBI indictment in LulzSec case claims Garda error led to conference call leak

Read: Teen arrested in Dublin as part of computer hacking probe >

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Gavan Reilly

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