Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

U.K. Police Say This Is the Face of LulzSec Hacker Known as Topiary

According to police in the United Kingdom, the photo you are looking at depicts one of the members of the LulzSec hacking group that has been so active this summer.

The photo, which appeared on the U.K.-based tech site, is of Jake Davis, an 18-year-old resident of Britain’s Shetland Islands, specifically the island of Yell. The original photo appeared in the Instagram account of a user known as timbr. Update: Timbr turns out to be Tim Bradshaw of the Financial Times.

After reports surfaced suggesting that police may have been tricked into arresting the wrong person, police say they’re certain they have their man.

Davis appeared in a City of Westminster court this morning and was granted bail; he is next scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 30. He faces five charges related to distributed denial-of-service attacks against several sites, including, notably, the U.K.’s Serious Organized Crimes Agency in June.

Using the online handle “Topiary,” Davis had functioned as the group’s spokesman and gave interviews to the media about its activities. The group attracted a great deal of media attention for its numerous attacks against, among others, Sony, PBS, Nintendo, Britain’s National Health Service, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, private affiliates of the FBI, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The arrest in the U.K. followed a string of arrests in the United States, in which 16 people have been accused of being involved with the distributed denial-of-service attack against PayPal, the payment unit of eBay. LulzSec had in recent days been organizing a protest against PayPal, encouraging people to kill their accounts with the service.

LulzSec’s Twitter account has been quiet since July 27, the day the arrest was announced. And the Twitter account belonging to Topiary has been wiped of all messages, save for one saying “You cannot arrest an idea.” The Twitter account belonging to AnonymousIRC, the group under whose banner LulzSec briefly operated, included a message of support. | Stay strong, @. We will continue this, as your last tweet is truth. We, the people, silent no more. #AntiSec

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