Jake Davis named as suspected hacker Topiary by UK police

Filed Under: Data loss, Denial of Service, Law & order, Malware, Vulnerability

Yell, ShetlandBritish police have tonight named the teenager they arrested in Shetland last week, in relation to the LulzSec and Anonymous hacking groups.

Jake Davis, 18, will appear in court on Monday charged with five offences including unauthorised computer access and conspiracy to carry out a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack against the SOCA website.

(SOCA is the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency - the very group that investigates serious cybercrime in Great Britain. You can just imagine how they must have felt when cybercriminals launched an attack against their website which made it inaccessible).

Here is the full list of the charges against Jake Davis:

  • Unauthorised 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;

  • SOCA

  • Conspiracy with others to carry out a Distributed Denial of Service Attack on the website 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.

Davis, reportedly an avid online chess player, was arrested on Yell, one of the northern isles of Shetland. Frankly, it's hard to imagine a more remote place in the British Isles to be.

Although there have been plenty of internet rumours speculating that the police might have been tricked by the hackers into arresting the wrong person, the authorities have been confident since Davis's arrest that he was the one they believed to be "Topiary".

A few days before Davis's arrest, Topiary's Twitter account was strangely wiped and replaced with a single message:

"You cannot arrest an idea"

You cannot arrest an idea

Both Topiary and LulzSec's Twitter accounts have remained silent since Davis's arrest.

We will publish more information as it becomes available, or follow me on Twitter for updates.

Further reading: Suspected Anonymous hacker 'had 750,000 passwords', court hears.

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One Response to Jake Davis named as suspected hacker Topiary by UK police

  1. Brian · 1123 days ago

    The Sony hack had nothing at all to do with demonstrating how weak their defenses were. It has everything to do with the long running battle over DRM and you know it. Lulzsec and Anon have an agenda against closed source DRM protected information and they don't care who gets hurt when they try to expose such data.

    However, to turn your proposition that by publishing data you make the systems more secure: the accepted way to deal with situations like this is to contact the company, explain exactly what flaws you have found and how to fix them. If you wanted to publicise how good your skilz are and verify the weaknesses had been fixed, then give them say 30 days before going public with the exploit. Oh-no, they had to break-in, steal and publish. A strange way to increase security don't you think?

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Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.