1 Aug 2011

Alleged LulzSec hacker released on bail

A teenager alleged to be a key member of the LulzSec hacker group has appeared in court, charged with launching cyber attacks on websites including the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Jake Davis, 18, was arrested last week at his home by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s e-crime unit as part of an investigation into LulzSec and fellow digital collective, Anonymous.

Prosecuters said the alleged hacker used the online nickname “Topiary” and acted as a spokesman for the two groups.

Appearing at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Davis faced fives charges hacking into websites, including that of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and was bailed until a Crown Court hearing on 30 August, on the conditions that he wears an electronic tag and does not access the internet. He spoke only to confirm his name and address.

Jake Davis - Reuters

LulzSec has been linked to hacking attempts on the NHS, Sony, and The Sun newspaper, the court heard.

Read more: LulzSec's 'real leaders' still active

In June, Ryan Cleary, a 19-year-old from Wickford in Essex, was also charged in relation to the attack on Soca’s website.

Prosecuters said that when Cleary’s house was raided by Met officers, he was talking to Davis online.

It was also claimed that FBI cyber agents identified Davis after a denial of service attack on Sony’s website in April, which overloaded its servers with traffic.

Last month, a further arrest – this time of a 16-year-old boy from south London – was made in relation to the Soca attack. He was released on police bail pending further inquiries.

All three arrests were part of an international investigation into LulzSec and Anonymous, which has also prompted raids in the United States, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Turkey.