Police in the U.K. have arrested the man they believe has been serving as the unofficial spokesperson of the hacktivist group LulzSec.
The 19-year-old suspect, who uses the online alias "Topiary," was arrested Wednesday at a home in the Shetland Islands, located off the northeast coast of Scotland, and was booked at a London police station, according to a statement. In a recent interview inside an internet chat room, Topiary was asked by Salon.com reporter Peter Finocchiaro whether he feared arrest.
Anonymous and LulzSec has PayPal in its crosshairs but this time it's using a legal strategy to battle the online payment processor.
The protest is in response to the 14 arrests that were made in connection with the DDoS attack against PayPal, specifically the arrest of Mercedes Renee Haefer, a journalism student at the university of Las Vegas who faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $500K in fines for allegedly participating in the attack. From the official press release:
A joint statement issued by Anonymous and LulzSec has just been released on Pastebin:
Hello thar FBI and international law authorities,
We recently stumbled across the following article with amazement and a certain amount of amusement:
The 14 people arrested Tuesday in a crackdown on the Anonymous hacking group are not suspected of having links to criminal gangs, terrorist networks or foreign governments. They are alleged only to have participated in attacks on PayPal's website, after that company cut off payments to WikiLeaks.
But the FBI was determined to go after them anyway.
Computer crime authorities will be hoping that they have struck a significant blow against the Anonymous and LulzSec hacking groups, following a series of raids and arrests on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the United States, 16 people have been arrested in connection with an internet attack last year against PayPal - an assault which was claimed by the loosely-knit hacktivist group known as "Anonymous", in retaliation for the website withdrawing support for WikiLeaks.