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British police have charged an 18-year-old man on suspicion of being a spokesman for the Lulz Security and Anonymous computer hacking groups, Scotland Yard said.
Officers from a London-based cybercrime unit detained Jake Davis on Wednesday in a “pre-planned intelligence-led operation” on the Shetland Islands, off the northeast coast of Scotland, before taking him to London for questioning.
Davis is accused of gaining unauthorised access to a computer system, encouraging or assisting offences and two counts of conspiracy to commit offences.
The teenager will also have to answer a charge of conspiring to carry out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, an action which crashes a website by flooding it with traffic.
Police said Wednesday they believed Davis was “linked to an ongoing international investigation into the criminal activity of the so-called ‘hacktivist’ groups Anonymous and LulzSec, and uses the online nickname ‘Topiary’ which is presented as the spokesperson for the groups.”
Police also searched a residential address in Lincolnshire, eastern England, and a 17-year-old male was interviewed in connection with the inquiry although he had not been arrested, police said.
Davis is due to appear in custody at London’s City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Lulz Security has claimed responsibility for a hacking rampage in the United States which saw the group target websites of the Central Intelligence Agency, the US Senate, Sony and others.
Anonymous gained prominence after launching retaliatory attacks on companies perceived to be enemies of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
Authorities in Britain and the United States have already made a number of arrests of suspected Lulz Security and Anonymous hackers.
British police arrested Ryan Cleary, 19, last month at his home in Wickford, southeast England, and charged him with attacking websites as part of Lulz Security.
He was charged with offences including hacking into the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the British equivalent of the FBI. He was released on bail after being diagnosed with autism.–AFP