Feeds

UK police warns off hacktivists

Oi, you lot ... behave!

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

UK police have taken the unusual step of warning prospective hacktivists that they risk arrest and prosecution if they get involved in denial of service or other forms of cyberattack.

An update on the Met Police's official Twitter account points surfers towards a notice stating that defacing websites, running denial of service attacks or looting corporate email databases is illegal, both in the UK and in many other jurisdictions. Even attacks aimed at targets outside the UK can be prosecuted in Britain.

The notice follows days after the arrest of a teenager in the Shetland Islands, Jake Davis, alleged to be "Topiary", a spokesman and prominent member of the Topiary hacking crew. Like Ryan Cleary, 19, of Wickford, Essex, Davis was charged with running denial of service attacks against the website of Soca, a UK police agency charged with investigating serious crime.

Law enforcement agencies in the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, the US and elsewhere have arrested alleged Anonymous and LulzSec members. The websites of law enforcement agencies have been a prime target for both hacktivist groups, partly because of this. So it could be the Met Police notice is designed to deter less committed members from launching attacks on UK police websites in response to the arrest of a Topiary suspect.

The approach is a bit like a police superintendent getting out a loud hailer to address football fans to tell them to behave when trouble seemed to be looming, as it frequently was during in the mid-'80s before all-seater stadia and the corporate reinvention of the beautiful game.

Anonymous has said that the arrests will not impede its objectives, arguing that you can't imprison an idea and comparing its activities in exposing insecurity on corporate websites to civil disobedience campaign of the past. High-minded ideals, to be sure.

The group has a lot less to say in justifying the publications of personal and sensitive data of individuals, such as Sun reader competition entrants, Sony PlayStation gamers and others. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.