Skip to main content

LulzSec tricked UK police into arresting wrong guy, report says


Yesterday, Scotland Yard boasted that it had arrested a leader of the hacktivist group Lulz Security known as “Topiary.” The 19-year-old was apprehended in the Shetland Islands, which are located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, between Scotland and Norway.

Problem is, evidence indicates that the police bagged the wrong guy, after being tricked by the real LulzSec hacker.

As Daily Tech journalist Jason Mick reports, the person authorities should have been arresting is allegedly one Daniel Ackerman Sandberg, a 23-year-old from Uppsala, Sweden, whose purported real identity was revealed by anti-LulzSec hacker “Th3J35t3r” (The Jester) and his group, Web Ninjas, on their website

Chat logs indicate that Sandberg stole his “Topiary” name from UK resident Daniel Chatfield, a known “troll” in the hacker community, effectively setting him up to be targeted by authorities — which, it appears, is exactly what’s happened. Sandberg, who ran the now-defunct Twitter account @atopiary, is said to go by an increasing variety of other pseudonyms, which allegedly include Warpstonelord, Hombre de Mundo and Tomtenisse.

This theory that the Metropolitan Police apprehended the wrong hacker also has the support of the Web Ninjas crew. So far, Scotland Yard has not responded to the allegations that they arrested the wrong person.

Amazingly (or not, depending on your view of police ineptitude), Mick reports that this is not the first time police have arrested the wrong hacker. In June, the Federal Bureau of Investigation nabbed another LulzSec “member,” Robert Cavenaugh, a former Anonymous member who had made enemies with the hacker clan after he published private server logs from the group. Like Chatfield, Cavenaugh — who is also said to have had no part in LulzSec operations — had been set up to take the fall.

Another hacker enemy, Ryan Cleary (aka “Chippy1337”), was recently apprehended, as well. Cleary allegedly helped Cavenaugh release the Anonymous chat logs. Once again, he is said to have been merely a tangential player in LulzSec campaigns — not the “mastermind” some made him out to be — and a scapegoat in the group’s quest to stay out of jail.

From a safe distance, it’s becoming increasing difficult to decipher who is and is not part of LulzSec and/or Anonymous. Is it the police who are playing a game of disinformation? Or is it LulzSec? Either way, it’s certain that this cat and mouse charade is far from over. There will be more arrests, certainly. And, we’re also sure, more “lulz” by LulzSec and Anonymous, who appear to be nowhere close to throwing up a white flag.

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
Skype now supports 911 calls in the U.S.
iPhone with the Skype mobile app loading screen.

Skype has updated its mobile and desktop apps to allow emergency calling in the U.S. for the first time in its 18-year history. Calls to 911 are also possible via Skype’s web-based service, notes for the recently released Skype 8.80 showed.

Emergency calling from Skype could come in handy if you find yourself in a tricky situation without a phone but have a computer close by, or if phone lines are down but you can get online.

Read more
The Interplanetary File System: How you’ll store files in the future
Cloud storage for downloading an isometric. A digital service or application with data transmission. Network computing technologies. Futuristic Server. Digital space. Data storage. Vector illustration.

When you upload a file or send a tweet, your information is stashed in some corporation-owned mega data center in the middle of nowhere. The endless racks of computers in these facilities hold millions of ledgers, and with a flick of a switch, companies can censor or misuse the data.

But what if instead of handing it to, say Amazon or Google, your data is broken down into pieces and scattered across the globe so that no one except you and your key -- not even the government -- can access it?

Read more
The best hurricane trackers for Android and iOS in 2022
Truck caught in gale force winds.

Hurricane season strikes fear into the hearts of those who live in its direct path, as well as distanced loved ones who worry for their safety. If you've ever sat up all night in a state of panic for a family member caught home alone in the middle of a destructive storm, dependent only on intermittent live TV reports for updates, a hurricane tracker app is a must-have tool. There are plenty of hurricane trackers that can help you prepare for these perilous events, monitor their progress while underway, and assist in recovery. We've gathered the best apps for following storms, predicting storm paths, and delivering on-the-ground advice for shelter and emergency services. Most are free to download and are ad-supported. Premium versions remove ads and add additional features.

You may lose power during a storm, so consider purchasing a portable power source,  just in case. We have a few handy suggestions for some of the best portable generators and power stations available. 

Read more