An Essex teenager has been arrested over the LulzSec hacking attacks that have been accused of hitting Soca, the US Senate, the CIA, Nintendo and Sony.

However LulzSec has denied that the man arrested was, as police claim, the brains behind the hacking group.

An international hunt has been on for those behind computer hacking group LulzSec and now British police said intelligence they have arrested a 19-year-old at a home in Wickford, Essex.

LulzSec claim to have been behind hacking attacks on the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), the US Senate, the CIA, and games giants Nintendo and Sony.

Two British forces as well as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been involved in the hunt for those responsible.

According to police, an Essex teenager was the mastermind behind the LulzSec attacks and today he was arrested at home in Wickford and brought in for questioning.

Specialist officers examined computer equipment seized from his house.

The Metropolitan police said: "Officers from the Metropolitan police central e-crime unit (PCeU) have arrested a 19-year-old man in a pre-planned intelligence-led operation.

"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 teenager was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act, and Fraud Act offences and was taken to a central London police station, where he currently remains in custody for questioning.

"Searches at a residential address in Wickford, Essex, following the arrest last night have led to the examination of a significant amount of material. These forensic examinations remain ongoing.

"The PCeU was assisted by officers from Essex police and have been working in co-operation with the FBI."

However, according to LulzSec, the Essex teenger may not, in fact, be at the helm of LulzSec.

“Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it's all over now… wait… we're all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?” LulzSec tweeted.

“FYI all members of lulzsec are safe. ryan Clearly has little to do with lulzsec besides running Media needs to fix story,” said anonymouSabu.

In a Twitter message posted on Monday, LulzSec said: "Tango down – – in the name of #AntiSec."

"DDoS is of course our least powerful and most abundant ammunition. Government hacking is taking place right now behind the scenes. #AntiSec."

On Tuesday, LulzSec it had hacked the UK census and was holding the information "lock and key" until it had reformatted it for publication.

The group targeted organisations in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

DDoS attacks attempt to make an online resource unavailable to its intended users.

A common way to do this is by overloading a network or web server with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic.