Alleged LulzSec Spokesman: New Details As Bail Set

Prosecutors accuse Jake Davis, aka "Topiary," of possessing 750,000 passwords and participating in multiple attacks.

Mathew J. Schwartz, Contributor

August 1, 2011

4 Min Read

Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, LocalPain

Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, LocalPain

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On Monday, accused LulzSec spokesman Jake Davis, aka "Topiary," faced multiple hacking-related charges in British court. He was granted bail until August 30, when he is due to return to court.

Davis arrived at court on Monday carrying a copy of the book "Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science," according to Britain's Guardian newspaper. Davis spoke only to confirm his personal details.

Prosecutors told the court that between Davis's computer and an external hard disk, they found login passwords for 750,000 people, as well as a copy of the fake story that LulzSec had placed on The Sun newspaper's website, claiming that owner Rupert Murdoch had died.

The judge granted Davis bail, citing his youth and lack of previous convictions. Conditions of 18-year-old Davis's release include his wearing an electronic monitoring tag, to ensure he complies with a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew. He must also forego direct or indirect Internet access via computer or mobile phone.

On Sunday, British police had charged Davis on five counts: unauthorized access to a computer system, encouraging or assisting offenses, conspiracy to carry out distributed denial of service attacks against the U.K.'s Serious and Organized Crime Agency (which investigates cyber crime), as well as conspiracy to commit computer misuse offenses. Prosecutors alleged that Davis participated in multiple LulzSec and Anonymous attacks, including exploits of the U.K.'s National Health Service, News International websites, and Sony.

More details also emerged about Davis's arrest on Wednesday. Authorities found him on Yell, an island with a permanent population of only about 1,000 people, that's one of the northern Shetland Islands, which are off the northeast to the north of Scotland. "Frankly, it's hard to imagine a more remote place in the British Isles to be," said U.K.-based Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a blog post.

Several days before Davis was arrested, the LulzSec Twitter feed had been wiped, except for this message: "You cannot arrest an idea." That referred to the FBI's recent arrest of multiple people on charges that they'd participated in the Anonymous attacks against multiple websites. In the wake of the arrests, Anonymous had released a statement urging people to boycott PayPal.

On Sunday, also in response to those arrests, a statement was posted on Pastebin under the Anonymous and AntiSec banner claiming that the group had compromised more than 70 law enforcement websites, including,, and, in response to "bogus trumped-up charges against the Anonymous paypal ... attacks."

As of press time, the cited websites, which had previously been active, resolved to a page that read "site coming soon." Many if not all of the websites appear to be hosted by Brooks-Jeffrey Marketing. The company was not available for immediate comment, but according to news reports, the company began to see suspicious activity on multiple websites last Monday, took them offline, and contacted the FBI.

Beyond exploiting those sites, according AntiSec's statement, the group also stole 10 GB of law enforcement data, including "mail spools of police officers" across dozens of different police departments, 7,000 officers' personal details (username, password, home address, social security numbers, phone numbers), a list of several hundred people who shared Anonymous-related tips with police, as well as police academy training files. The group said it had also obtained lists of active warrants and jail inmates, but planned to redact that information before releasing it.

But the group offered to not release the information, in exchange for law enforcement agencies stopping their investigations. "We demand prosecuters [sic] immediately drop all charges and investigations against all 'Anonymous' defendants," according to the statement.

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About the Author(s)

Mathew J. Schwartz


Mathew Schwartz served as the InformationWeek information security reporter from 2010 until mid-2014.

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