"Scotland Yard says officers from its specialist cybercrime unit have arrested the suspected spokesman of the Lulz Security hacking group. In a statement Wednesday the police force says that the 19-year-old was arrested at an address in Scotland's Shetland Islands on Wednesday."
"They say he is the name behind the hacker known as 'Topiary,' who has given several interviews in recent weeks. As reported by ZDNet, Topiary is being transported from the Shetland Islands to a London police station and is expected to face charges related to cybercrime, network intrusions and hacking..."
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Anonymous' PayPal Campaign Tempered by Arrests
The rogue hacktivist movement Anonymous has issued statements encouraging PayPal customers to close their accounts in protest of the company's decision to suspend fundraising accounts that benefit the international whistleblower organization WikiLeaks.
The new campaign is notably milder in nature than those in the past where the hacktivists organized a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against the company's publicly facing websites.
The less aggressive campaign may be due to apprehensions after fourteen individuals were arrested by FBI agents last week on charges related to their alleged involvement in the DDoS attack, though the Anonymous statements attempt to indicate otherwise.
On December 3rd, 2010 PayPal had announced it was suspending the fundraising accounts of WikiLeaks for violation of the Acceptable Use Policy, stating:
"PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We have notified the account holder of this action. "
Following PayPal's suspension of the WikiLeaks account, Anonymous launched the DDoS attack, and tweeted the following messages:
“TANGO DOWN — thepaypalblog.com — Blog of Paypal, company that has restricted Wikileaks’ access to funding. #Paypal #Wikileaks #WL #DDoS”
“Close your #Paypal accounts in light of the blatant misuse of power to partially disable #Wikileaks funding. Join in the #DDoS if you’d like”
The PayPal blog was reported to have been offline for several hours as a result. DDoS attacks are attempts to render web servers unavailable to users through a variety of means, including saturating the target networks with communications requests, thereby denying access to legitimate users.Today's Pastebin announcement from Anonymous is as follows:
Dear PayPal, its customers, and our friends around the globe,
This is an official communiqué from Anonymous and Lulz Security in the name of AntiSec.
In recent weeks, we've found ourselves outraged at the FBI's willingness to arrest and threaten those who are involved in ethical, modern cyber operations. Law enforcement continues to push its ridiculous rules upon us - Anonymous "suspects" may face a fine of up to 500,000 USD with the addition of 15 years' jailtime, all for taking part in a historical activist movement. Many of the already-apprehended Anons are being charged with taking part in DDoS attacks against corrupt and greedy organizations, such as PayPal.
What the FBI needs to learn is that there is a vast difference between adding one's voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and controlling a large botnet of infected computers. And yet both of these are punishable with exactly the same fine and sentence.
In addition to this horrific law enforcement incompetence, PayPal continues to withhold funds from WikiLeaks, a beacon of truth in these dark times. By simply standing up for ourselves and uniting the people, PayPal still sees it fit to wash its hands of any blame, and instead encourages and assists law enforcement to hunt down participants in the AntiSec movement.
Quite simply, we, the people, are disgusted with these injustices. We will not sit down and let ourselves be trampled upon by any corporation or government. We are not scared of you, and that is something for you to be scared of. We are not the terrorists here: you are.
We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative. The first step to being truly free is not putting one's trust into a company that freezes accounts when it feels like, or when it is pressured by the U.S. government. PayPal's willingness to fold to legislation should be proof enough that they don't deserve the customers they get. They do not deserve your business, and they do not deserve your respect.
Join us in our latest operation against PayPal - tweet pictures of your account closure, tell us on IRC, spread the word. Anonymous has become a powerful channel of information, and unlike the governments of the world, we are here to fight for you. Always.
Signed, your allies,
Lulz Security (unvanned)
Is Anonymous' fervor being tempered by the recent arrests by federal law enforcement? We can only hope so.
Further arrests and indictments are expected as authorities continue their investigations into other Anonymous, LulzSec and AntiSec attacks, including those perpetrated against Visa, MasterCard, PostFinance Bank, Amazon, Bank of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website, and for having breached the systems of security consultants HBGary Federal.