UK police arrest Anonymous spokesman 'Topiary'

Another 17-year-old male is being questioned but has not been arrested

U.K. police said Wednesday they are questioning two more teenage Anonymous suspects, one of whom they identified as "Topiary," who is a spokesman for the group. Topiary's may be the most significant arrest of any Anonymous suspect so far.

Topiary's real name was not released, but police said the 19-year-old was arrested at a residential address in the Shetland Islands, a group of remote islands northeast of the U.K. mainland known for its oil deposits. He is being transported to a police station in central London, police said.

A 17-year-old man is also being interviewed, although he has not been arrested. Police are also searching a residence in Lincolnshire.

Topiary describes himself on his Twitter channel as "Simple prankster turned swank garden hedge. Worked with Anonymous, LulzSec, and other such paragons of intense cyber victory. You are free." His last post dates from Friday, when he wrote, "You cannot arrest an idea."

LulzSec, which is short for Lulz Security, is a group aligned with Anonymous that has also conducted denial-of-service attacks against websites and stolen data in numerous ongoing campaigns targeted at organizations, companies and government agencies.

Anonymous' latest campaign has been to encourage people to cancel their PayPal accounts. PayPal, which is part of eBay, has been consistently targeted by the groups for cutting off services to WikiLeaks, which used the service to accept donations. Other targets included Visa, MasterCard, Western Union and Bank of America.

Last week, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had arrested 14 people suspected of conducting distributed denial-of-service attacks against PayPal in December 2010. They each were charged with conspiring to and intentionally causing damage to a protected computer.

The U.K.'s Police Central e-Crime Unit also arrested a 16-year-old last week on suspicion of violating the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

However, it remains to be seen if the spate of arrests will stop the hacking activity of the groups, which appear to be widely dispersed around the world and composed of youths.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimelegalCriminal

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?