The faceless, nameless, leaderless organization LulzSec is no longer faceless or nameless. Jake Davis, who calls himself Topiary online, appeared in British court on Monday to face five computer hacking-related charges and revealed his identity for the first time. Best known for his role as the voice of LulzSec, an offshoot of the Anonymous hacking group, Davis spoke only once in court--in what must have been a moment of poignant irony--to reveal his name and address.
The hearing took place in the same room as that of fellow LulzSec-affiliate Ryan Cleary, who was arrested on similar charges in June and described as a "co-defendant" during Davis's hearing. Despite speculation that police may have arrested the wrong hacker, Forbes blogger Parmy Olson's description of the prosecution's testimony leaves little doubt:
Prosecutor [Rav] Chodha said the officers who arrested Davis found a Dell laptop running 40 different applications. Among them were a host of folders including one containing details of pre-paid cards in false names, a folder titled “Noms” which included a text file of LulzSec activity, and a folder with user details and passwords of 750,000 random members of the public.
Chodha said the laptop had a 100 GB encrypted-hard drive with 16 separate “small computers” – presumably virtual machines, or VMs – each operating independently of one another.
The prosecution also revealed that Davis wrote the fake Sun article a couple of weeks ago claiming Rupert Murdoch was dead. Davis had left a clue, saying that Murdoch's body was found in his "famous topiary garden."
The judge released Davis on bail under the condition that he wear a tracking device and not access the Internet. Based on his defense attorney's statements, it seems like there's a chance Davis might be willing to cooperate with police. "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," said defense attorney Gideon Cammerman. Asked how Davis acted in his five days of police custody, Cammerman responded, "He was perfectly charming."
Davis is now headed to his family's new home in Spalding, Lincolnshire, where he'll wait for his next hearing on August 30. Though he'll be offline for the foreseeable future, Davis's name and likeness is now making its way around hacker circles in the form of tribute art. His face is already a meme:
(Image via exiledsurfer)