Krypton Radio Newswire
Scotland Yard took custody of a teenager in Shetland, U.K. last Wednesday in a swift operation in cooperation with the Shetland Metropolitan Police. The 18 year old man was arrested by police in the Shetland Islands, and flown to London for questioning in his purported role in the hacking spree by so-called internet “hacktivist” groups LulzSec and Anonymous. His home was also searched by Scotland Yard investigators, and substantial materials and computer hardware were taken into custody as evidence.
The 18-year-old man is alleged to be an online activist who calls himself Topiary and acted as a spokesman for the groups Anonymous and LulzSec. They have been associated with cyber-attacks on major businesses and intelligence agencies, including Sony, PayPal, Rupert Murdoch’s News International and the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency. However, in this Techweb article, “Topiary” is identified by a rival hacktivist as being Sweden-based Daniel Ackerman Sandberg. However, this is based on information derived from Pastebin, which anyone may edit. The identity in Sweden may simply be a LulzSec effort at misdirection.
The team of specialist detectives flew in to Sumburgh Airport on a small chartered plane on Wednesday morning and left again after teatime with their suspect onboard.
The Shetland Metropolitan Police said the arrest was linked to an ongoing international investigation into the criminal activity of two so-called hacktivist groups.
A 17-year-old living in Lincolnshire, U.K. is also being interviewed and two other young men were arrested earlier during the ongoing inquiry.
On July 19, 14 suspected members of Anonymous were arrested in the United States during a nationwide sweep conducted by the FBI in coordination with local law enforcement. Five arrests were also made in Europe as part of ongoing investigations by the Metropolitan Police Service and the Dutch National Police Agency. The defendants arraigned in the U.S. are charged with various counts of conspiracy, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. They also face various counts of causing intentional damage to a protected computer, with each count carrying a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“Topiary” is believed to be “second in command” in the LulzSec heirarchy. Whether the young man arrested in Shetland is Topiary or not, his computer(s) should contain important information leading to the apprehension of other LulzSec and/or Anonymous members.
One of the lesser members of LulzSec is (or was) Eekdacat. One of the founding members of the Patriotic Nigras in Second Life also went by the name “Eekdacat”, and actually operated as a furry on that multiplayer online environment. While all the while insisting that he was never a member of the Patriotic Nigras, he was none the less the creator of the infamous “Doomsday Gun” which was responsible for so many sim crashings in 2007 and early 2008. “Eekdacat” of LulzSec , unsurprisingly, also objects to being associated with LulzSec, but had not objected until after the members of LulzSec began to be apprehended by law enforcement agencies around the world.
LulzSec as a group claimed to have operated in the name of “hacktivism”, but apart from their attack on PayPal for blocking financial transactions in support of WikiLeaks, little of what they did appears to have been politically motivated. Second Life’s so-called “hacktivist” Wrong Hands group shares this lack of focus, having been mass banned and losing their Red Square and Revolution regions as well as their last spokesperson, Tux Winkler in Linden Lab raids over the past two weeks.
The “Wrong Hands” group is just the latest in a string of griefer gangs in Second Life supported and actively endorsed by Mark P. McCahill, current editor of the Alphaville Herald and professor at Duke University, via a bizarre years-long campaign of disinformation and propaganda. McCahill’s dislike of peacekeeper groups operation in Second Life is well known, and for good reason: of the three griefer gangs he has publicly supported in the pages of the Herald, the Patriotic Nigras, Woodbury University and the Wrong Hangs, none have survived public scrutiny or the attention of these citizen-run peacekeeper groups.
Update – August 2, 2011
The teenage hacker arrested last week in the U.K. for his alleged involvement with Anonymous and LulzSec is reportedly an 18-year-old named Jake Davis. Scotland Yard on Sunday revealed that the hacker known as “Topiary” is actually Davis, from the U.K.’s Shetland Islands, according to security firm Sophos and Daily Mail crime reporter Chris Greenwood. Attempts by Anonymous to misdirect identification of Topiary as being a resident of Sweden have apparently failed.
Davis appeared in a London court on Monday morning, Greenwood tweeted.
Topiary will be tried under U.K. law on at least the following five charges:
- Unauthorized access to a computer system, contrary to Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
- Encouraging / assisting offences, contrary to S46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.
- Conspiracy with others to carry out a Distributed Denial of Service Attack on the Web site of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency contrary to S1 Criminal Law Act 1977.
- Conspiracy to commit offences of section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990, contrary to S1 Criminal Law Act 1977.
- Conspiracy between the defendant and others to commit offences of section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990 contrary to S1 Criminal Law Act 1977.
Scotland Yard is purportedly discovering a gold mine of information in Davis’ computers, and investigating other Anonymous activity in the U.K., with more arrests planned.
- 30 -
Update, September 23, 2011
Another suspected member of LulzSec has been arrested and indicted in Arizona, in the person of 23 year old Cody Kritzenger. Kritzenger is suspected of conspiracy and the unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, according to a report filed by Reuters.
- Strategy Informer – LulzSec Topiary Arrested
- Yahoo News – Suspected LulzSec Key Member Arrested
- The Next Web – Metropolitan Police arrest Topiary, suspected LulzSec and Anonymous spokesperson
- Forbes – Scotland Yard Announces LulzSec Hacker “Topiary” Arrested In U.K.
- The Independent (U.K.) – Five Arrested in Computer Hacking Investigation
- Krypton Radio News Flash: The Last of the Wrong Hands Falls
- Techweb – Anonymous Hackers are Hypocrites, Not Hacktivists
- Gather.com – LulzSec Arrest in Arizona: Suspected Hacker Cody Kretzinger Indicted
- Reuters – Suspected LulzSec Hacker Arrested