London police officers arrested an alleged member of the hacking collective, Lulzsec, thiss week. The group, however, denies he is a member.

The police arrested Ryan Cleary for his connection with the international hacking group, Lulzsec. Cleary, 19, was arrested in Wickford, Essex and his computer server was seized for evidence. Cleary is being charged for five offenses under the Computer Misuse Act and is suspected of bringing down Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency website, which is its version of the FBI.

 Lulzsec, the hacking collective which has gone after the U.S. government, Sony and a number of other organizations, immediately denied a strong connection to Cleary.

Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC server, but that's it, the organization tweeted this week. Clearly the UK police are so desperate to catch us that they've gone and arrested someone who is, at best, mildly associated with us. Lame.

Cleary's rap sheet dates back to at least October, when he allegedly took down the website of the British Phonographic Industry. Following that, Cleary allegedly took down International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's website. The hacker also has an association with the other popular hacking collective, Anonymous, which has well performed publicized hacks as well.  

Cleary took down those Phonographic websites as a member of Anonymous. Authorities believe at some point, Cleary took a botnet, which is a string of networked computers, to Lulzsec. The computers launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attackS on the aforementioned government entities.

Both Lulzsec and Anonymous announced this week they are teaming up to form a new collective called AntiSec. The group will take aim at government entities and look to expose private documents.

Cleary will appear in front of the City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday morning.

2011 has been the year of the hacker.  Major corporations such as Sony, Google, Mastercard, Citibank have all had to deal with large-scale hacks. Government entities, most notably in the Middle East, have also had to deal with hacking issues. Groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec are a major reason for this rise in high-profile hacking.

Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna