A British teenager, who prosecutors say is a top member of hacktivist groups Anonymous and LulzSec, was released today on bail. The 18-year-old Jake Davis has no criminal record.
Davis, known as "Topiary" on the web, is being charged in correlation with hacks against Sony, UK criminal authorities, UK health authorities, and the Rupert Murdoch organization News International.
He was arrested over the weekend on Scotland's Shetland Islands and this morning he appeared in court. According to Reuters, Davis "suppressed a smile" when the lead prosecutor tried to pronounce "LulzSec."
Prosecutors say that Davis is an active member of Anonymous and LulzSec, two hacktivist groups that have garnered quite a bit of attention recently for their attacks on various companies and governmental organizations. Anonymous and LulzSec are two distinct entities, but both have used similar methods of attack in the last few months. The two groups were rumored to be feuding but quashed that when they announced via Twitter their solidarity in cause.
According to the police, Davis's computer contained files detailing an unspecific attack on Sony along with email addresses and passwords of "hundreds of thousands" of people. That was just the tip of the iceberg, they said, as many folders have yet to be explored.
When police arrested Davis, they also said that "his computer screen was displaying a dialogue box for a single-use email address with a lifespan of 10 minutes. Forty other applications were also running."
His defense attorney said today that "The picture that emerges is not of a skilled and persistent hacker, but someone that sympathizes and publicizes and acts as a repository for information hacked by others."
#Anonymous aren't crazy hackers 90% of us don't even know have to hack but we do know how to share information..What some don't understand
As a condition of his bail, Davis will have no internet access and will be under curfew at his parents' house. His next hearing will be August 30th.