The member of Anonymous who went by the handle "Kayla" with the persona of a 16-year-old girl might have been two grown men: The U.K. Metropolitan Police Service today said it has arrested two men, ages 24 and 20, who allegedly operated under the online identity.
The arrests came amid what appears to be the hacktivist group's latest data dump -- emails and private information, including passwords and cell phone numbers, of Texas law enforcement officers. Anonymous says the leaked data is in protest of the arrests and dozens Anonymous suspects, and the group claims to have 3 gigabytes of private emails and documents: "We opened fire on dozens of Texas police departments and stole boatloads of classified police documents and police chief emails across the state. During the San Jose courtdate we defaced and gave out live backdoor and admin access to the website TexasPoliceChiefs.org while allied ships launched ddos attacks upon Justice.gov and other law enforcement websites. For every defendant in the anonymous 'conspiracy' we are attacking two top Texas police chiefs, leaking 3GB of their private emails and attachments," the hacktivist group said in post with the leaked data.
The San Jose reference was to yesterday's hearing held there for 14 alleged members of Anonymous, all of whom pled not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy and hacking in connection with the DDoS attacks on PayPay. Anonymous also said it knocked the California Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals website offline yesterday in further protest.
Meanwhile, the arrests of the two men in the U.K., one in Mexborough, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, and the other, Warminster, Wiltshire, were part of a global investigation with the FBI and law enforcement agencies in other parts of the world, according to the Metropolitan Police. Computer equipment from the Doncaster residence was confiscated for forensic investigation.
"The arrests relate to our enquiries into a series of serious computer intrusions and online denial-of-service attacks recently suffered by a number of multi-national companies, public institutions and government and law enforcement agencies in Great Britain and the United States," said detective inspector Mark Raymond. "We are working to detect and bring before the courts those responsible for these offences, to disrupt such groups, and to deter others thinking of participating in this type of criminal activity."
Kayla is considered to be a key member of the LulzSec splinter group of Anonymous that targeted HBGary and others. Another key figure, Topiary, has been arrested, and Sabu, one of the more vocal leaders of the group online, has not been seen on Twitter for weeks.
And earlier yesterday, Christopher Jan Weatherhead, 20, and Ashley Rhodes, 26, both from the U.K., were charged with hacking crimes in connection with Anonymous.
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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio