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U.K. authorities say they’ve arrested one of the higher-profile members of LulzSec, a hacker group that announced it was quitting in late June, but which then resurfaced in the middle of this month. That member, a 19-year-old known as “Topiary” online, was arrested in Scotland’s Shetland Islands on Wednesday.
Back in June, Topiary said he wasn’t worried about the authorities. He said, “Worrying is for fools!”
Just last week, in an interview published at Salon.com, he reiterated that confidence. Questioned again about concerns, he said, “The short answer to that is no, the long answer is that I’ve received so many threats of being caught over the past 8 months (almost every day) that it doesn’t affect me at all. There was a brief window where I was paranoid or that it irked me — now I just laugh wholeheartedly.”
Also last week, 14 suspected Anonymous members were arrested by the Department of Justice. Those arrests were related to denial-of-service attacks against PayPal, in “retribution” for PayPal halting donations made to whistleblower site WikiLeaks through the service.
Two others were arrested last week on similar charges, unrelated to PayPal.
Britain’s Metropolitan Police Service’s Police Central e-Crime Unit issued the following press release:
The man arrested is believed to be linked to an ongoing international investigation in to 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.
He was arrested at a residential address in the Shetland Islands and is currently being transported to a police station in central London. A search is ongoing at the address.
A residential address in Lincolnshire is also being searched. A 17-year-old male is being interviewed under caution in connection with the inquiry. He has not been arrested.
Topiary is believed to be LulzSec’s second-in-command, and the public face of the group. He may have expected something; his Twitter feed has been wiped except for a single message that says “You cannot arrest an idea.” Additionally, the group’s website is offline as well, although a CloudFlare snapshot continues to display.
Just prior to its “retirement,” LulzSec announced a joint operation with fellow hacker group Anonymous, called AntiSec, which is aimed at corruption in government and big business. While LulzSec was “away,” Anonymous continued the operation, and the two are now teaming on AntiSec.