Scotland Yard arrested a 19-year-old man they say is Topiary, a spokesman for LulzSec and a member of Anonymous. That makes two out of six LulzSec members in custody.
Scotland Yard's cyber-crime unit has announced it has the
spokesman for the disbanded cyber-prankster group LulzSec in custody.
A 19-year old man was arrested at a residential address in
Scotland's remote Shetland Islands, the Metropolitan
said in a statement on July 27. Scotland Yard did not release his
name, but said his online name was "Topiary."
Topiary is being transferred to London where he is expected
to be charged with cyber-crime, network intrusions and hacking. Law enforcement
officials also searched the Shetland Islands residence, according to the
"The man arrested is believed to be linked to an
ongoing international investigation into the criminal activity of the
so-called 'hacktivist' groups Anonymous and LulzSec," according
to the release.
Scotland Yard was also investigating a 17-year-old youth in
Lincolnshire, in central England, and searching a residence there, but no
arrests have been made.
Topiary has described himself as one of LulzSec's six
members in interviews with Associated Press in the past. Topiary is believed to
have been behind the group's Twitter account and the press releases posted on
text-sharing site Pastebin bragging about its activities.
"We're not quitting because we're afraid of law
enforcement," Topiary told AP when LulzSec disbanded
in late June.
"The press are getting bored of us, and we're getting bored of us."
Scotland Yard has been investigating various network
intrusions and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against a number of
international business and intelligence agencies by LulzSec
collective Anonymous. LulzSec, during its 50-day spree, targeted Britain's
Serious Organized Crime Agency, multiple Sony sites, media companies and
various American government sites. Anoynmous
has claimed responsibility on
attacks on government contractors, law enforcement and financial firms.
Topiary is the second high-profile member of LulzSec to be
arrested. British police last week arrested 16-year-old "T-Flow," who
was regarded as a prominent LulzSec operative. British police have yet to
identify him by name. They also arrested
19-year-old Ryan Cleary
of Wickford, Essex, in June. While news reports initially
claimed Cleary was a LulzSec leader, it appears that he just ran the chat room
used by the group to plan its attacks. Cleary is due to appear before a London
court on Aug. 30.
The latest arrest also comes less than a week after the
Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 14 Anonymous members in the United
States and Netherlands police arrested four people in relation to the attacks.
"sends a strong message," said Chet Wisniewski, senior security
advisor of Sophos. "While many have found the antics of Lulz
Security entertaining, breaking into computers and stealing the personal
details of innocent people is a serious crime," Wisniewski said.
Rival hacker groups have published personal information of
various individuals claiming to have unmasked Anonymous and LulzSec members. In
those documents, Topiary is listed as living in Sweden. However, the documents
aren't necessarily accurate, as recent reports showed the data on
another Anonymous member "Sabu"
After LulzSec stopped its activities, its members joined
the larger Anonymous to continue their cyber-activities. In its latest
Anonymous has called for a boycott of eBay's PayPal to protest the
organization's continued freezing of WikiLeaks funds. The group was
outraged by what it perceived as unfair legal penalties, of a fine of
up to $500,000 and 15 years jailtime, just for taking part in an
"What the FBI needs to learn is that there is a vast
difference between adding one's voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low
Orbit Ion Cannon, and controlling a large botnet of infected computers. And yet
both of these are punishable with exactly the same fine and sentence,"
reads the letter to "PayPal, its
customers and our friends,
" shared on Pastebin.
More than 35,000 people have already allegedly cancelled their
accounts in protest, Anonymous said. The group has also been gleefully posting
PayPal's dropping stock price throughout the day.
Anonymous has retaliated with more attacks whenever any of
its members have been arrested, and Topiary's arrest is no exception. Within
three hours of Scotland Yard's announcement, the collective posted the following
warning: "Also, tomorrow: Expect something nice. Looks like the FBI asked
for a slap in the face. Well, we can deliver. #FFF (On Thursday, who