'Hack attack' teenager remanded

A teenager accused of carrying out a hacking attack against the website of the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency was remanded in police custody today while inquiries continue.

Ryan Cleary, 19, from Wickford, Essex, did not enter any plea to five offences under the Criminal Law and Computer Misuse Act when he appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Ben Cooper, defending, said: "He has been assisting with police inquiries so far and is keen to continue doing so."

Cleary was arrested at his family home on Monday as part of a Scotland Yard and FBI probe into LulzSec, a group which claims responsibility for hacking attempts on Soca, the US senate and the CIA.

He will be detained at London's Charing Cross police station for further questioning, the court heard.

His mother, Rita Cleary, sat in the public gallery for the short hearing. She did not comment as she left court.

Cleary wore a white T-shirt and looked nervous and tired as he stood in the secure dock.

His solicitor said he was likely to apply for bail at the next hearing.

Mr Cooper added: "My client is a vulnerable young man and there are certain matters which are being looked into with regards to his vulnerability."

Cleary is charged with conspiring with other people on or before June 20 to create a remotely-controlled network of zombie computers, known as a "botnet", to carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, where websites are flooded with traffic to make them crash.

He is accused of launching a DDoS attack on Soca's website on June 20.

The teenager is also alleged to have carried out similar attacks against the British Phonographic Industry's website on October 29 last year and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's website on November 28 last year.

Soca, the British Phonographic Industry and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry all have their headquarters in London.

It is understood that investigations are continuing into other alleged hacking attacks in the UK and abroad.