The authorities have charged Jake Davis, a UK resident from the remote Sheltand islands with five criminal counts. The 18 year old is alleged to be “Topiary,” a prominent member of the inner circle of the hacking groups Anonymous and Lulz Security.
The authorities have charged Jake Davis, a UK resident from the remote Sheltand islands with five criminal counts. The 18 year old is alleged to be “Topiary,” a prominent member of the inner circle of the hacking groups Anonymous and Lulz Security. Davis, whose arrest was announced on July 27, is charged with violations of the UK’s Computer Misuse Act, Serious Crime Act and Criminal Law Act, including “Unauthorised access to a computer system,” “Conspiracy with others to carry out a Distributed Denial of Service Attack on the website of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency,” and other conspiracy charges. He appeared in City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday 1 August, according to the Metropolitan Police.
The teenager, who appeared in court wearing dark sunglasses and a blue, denim shirt, was released on bail until August 30, but is required to wear a monitoring bracelet and abstain from using the Internet, according to a report in the UK’s Daily Telegraph.
Controversy has swirled around the arrest, with astonishment that a teenager in such a remote corner of the British Isles would be at the center of an international hacking collective, and members of Anonymous claiming that authorities arrested the wrong man. However, the Metropolitan Police have issued numerous statements that suggesting that they have strong evidence linking Davis to the hacker known as Topiary.
If that is true, it would be a major score in the international law enforcement effort to bring down the group, which has carried out a string of high profile hacks in the last year, including attacks on HBGary, Sony, the CIA, the UK’s Serious and Organized Crime Agency and others. Leaked IRC chat logs purporting to be from a restricted channel used by the group’s leadership suggest that Topiary was a central player in the attacks on HBGary Federal and its then-CEO Aaron Barr. A user with the IRC handle Topiary is quoted in those logs directing elements of that attack, including the publication of stolen e-mails from the firm. He also served as a spokesman for the group, granting interviews to the press, though leaked chat logs suggest that he was interested in passing himself off as an “observer” of the group rather than a leading member.
The arrest is the second of a top ranked Anonymous member in recent weeks. In June, authorities arrested 19 year-old Ryan Cleary of Essex England. Cleary is alleged to have operated a botnet used to carry out denial of service attacks on various organizations, including the website of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.