Anonymous suspect 'Topiary' charged over DDOS attacks

The suspect, 18-year-old Jake Davis, has been charged with five counts

The 18-year-old teenager identified by police as the spokesman for the hacking groups Anonymous and Lulz Security was charged on Sunday with five offenses and expected to appear Monday in a London court.

Jake Davis, 18, was arrested in the Shetland Islands on Wednesday. He is alleged by police to be "Topiary," a spokesman who did interviews with media and ran a prolific Twitter account documenting frequent denial-of-service attacks and data theft escapades of Anonymous and LulzSec.

Davis was charged with conspiring with others to conduct DDOS attacks against the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, a British law enforcement institution similar to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He is also charged with unauthorized access to a computer system, encouraging offenses and two counts of conspiracy. Davis is scheduled to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday where a judge will decide whether to remand him to custody or grant bail.

Also questioned last Wednesday but not arrested was a 17-year-old male. The Daily Mail identified the teenager as the brother of Davis, although police on Monday said his name was not being released since he has not been charged and would not say if the two are related.

A police spokesman said Monday they were satisfied that Davis was "Topiary" and that they are not pursuing anyone else by the same handle. It has been suggested that the real Topiary has been living in Sweden. Topiary's Twitter account has been inactive since July 22, when he wrote "You cannot arrest an idea."

U.K. police have made several arrests of people allegedly involved with LulzSec and Anonymous, whose online campaigns have breached websites including SonyPictures.com, Fox.com and the Arizona Department of Public Safety computer network.

A 19-year-old man, Ryan Cleary, was arrested on June 20 at his home in Wickford, Essex, for allegedly taking part in the attacks against SOCA. He is charged with five computer-related offenses and stands accused of distributing tools to build a botnet used to attack SOCA as well as websites of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the British Phonographic Industry.

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

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

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Tags cybercrimelegaldata protectionCriminalExploits / vulnerabilitiesMetropolitan Police Service

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
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