An Alleged “Teenage hacker awaits ruling on US extradition”

May 16, 2013

The Herald ( on May 16, 2013 released the following:

“A COMPUTER hacking teenager from Shetland will learn today if he is to be extradited to the United States given his core role in a series of damaging cyber attacks on the networks of the NHS, the FBI and major international corporations.

Jake Davis, 18, has admitted he and fellow members of LulzSec stole huge amounts of personal data belonging to hundreds of thousands of people and posted it online for anyone to download.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard yesterday that Davis, along with Ryan Ackroyd, Mustafa Al-Bassam and Ryan Cleary considered themselves “modern day pirates”, who carried out the attacks for entertainment.

All members of the group, which included a schoolboy and an ex-soldier, have pled guilty to carrying out various acts of cyber crime in 2011.

At a pre-sentencing hearing, prosecutor Sandip Patel said the men lacked the political drive of groups like Anonymous, from which they had developed, and seemed to have been doing it for kicks.

He said: “It’s clear from the evidence that they intended to achieve extensive national and international notoriety and publicity. They saw themselves as latter-day pirates.

“This is not about young immature men messing about. They are at the cutting edge of a contemporary and emerging species of criminal offender known as a cyber criminal.”

Smartly dressed Davis, 20, from Lerwick, who used the alias Topiary, smirked in the dock when details of his activities were outlined to the court. He was LulzSec’s main publicist and in charge of media relations.

Both he and Al-Bassam previously pled guilty to hacking and launching cyber attacks on organisations, including the CIA and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Davis’s barrister, Simon Mayo QC, told the court his client had completely turned his life around since being arrested.

Born in Canterbury, Kent, he moved to the Shetlands aged six with his mother to escape his alcoholic father, who later committed suicide. Socially isolated from his early teens, Davis suffered from depression and fell under the spell of a “misguided ideology”, Mr Mayo said.

But since his arrest, he had moved to London via Lincolnshire and found work with several artistic groups, also writing for the Observer about his time with Anonymous.

Carole Cadwalladr, a feature writer with the paper, provided a reference.

Michael Morris MBE, the co-director of art group Artangel, gave a character reference in court.

“In short, Davis has been given an opportunity he was previously denied, an opportunity to transform himself from a depressed 18-year-old in the Shetland Islands into a self-sufficient scriptwriter living in London,” Mr Mayo added, suggesting his client could be given a suspended sentence.

The court heard that the “DDoS” attacks they carried out with other unidentified hackers belonging to online groups such as Anonymous and Internet Feds flooded websites with traffic, making them crash and rendering them unavailable to users.

To do it, they used a remotely controlled network of “zombie” computers, known as a “botnet”, capable of being programmed to perform the attack.

The court heard the codes, written by Cleary, may have been using up to one million computers to carry out attacks via the internet without their owners knowing it.

The group only existed for a matter of months in 2011 before the main members were arrested between June and September, the court heard.

Attacks like those on Sony and Nintendo harvested massive amounts of private data. The Sony leak alone saw it lose details relating to 26.4 million customers, causing its Playstation network to shut down.

Davis was found to have 750,000 separate pieces of sensitive data on his computer after his arrest, and Cleary 10,000.

The hearing continues.”


Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom here.


To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.


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Teenager Questioned Over Links to International Hacking Ring Faces Extradition to US

July 25, 2011

Police believe the teenager is connected to hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec.

The teenager was arrested in south London amid a new wave of internet attacks. He remained in custody overnight but is currently out on bail.

Police believe he is connected to the notorious hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec which have been blamed for a string of attacks on organizations including the CIA, the US Senate and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

The teenager, who was held under the Computer Misuse Act, reportedly goes by the online user-name Tflow. Tflow is allegedly a high ranking member of the online hacking group Lulzsec. However, there is some speculation whether or not the teen is in fact Tflow. Members of the hacking group Anonymous contest that it was Tflow who was arrested, while Fox News confirms that it was Tflow.

Scotland Yard’s specialist cyber-crime unit acted in cooperation with the FBI, which arrested 14 people for allegedly mounting a cyber-attack on PayPal’s website. Dutch police also made four arrests.

Anonymous targeted the online payment specialist in retaliation for withdrawing its services from WikiLeaks after it released thousands of classified US State Department cables last November. Members bombarded the website with traffic in an attempt to overwhelm its servers and force it offline.

The FBI arrests are the first in the United States since the international investigation of the group of so called “hacktivists” was launched last year.

The probe has since widened to cover LulzSec, a smaller and less overtly political group that splintered from Anonymous in April and embarked on a two-month spree of cyber-attacks.

The 14, including 11 men and two women aged between 20 and 42, were arrested in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio. The court withheld the identity of one individual. There were two further cyber-crime arrests in the US, unrelated to PayPal.

Last month, Ryan Cleary, 19, from Essex, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to hack into the website of SOCA. He was charged with a string of cyber-attacks on UK-based sites before being released on conditional bail.

The teenager, who has since been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, is also wanted for questioning in the US over a cyber-attack on the Facebook website and could face extradition even if tried and convicted of crimes in the UK.

He is being represented by Karen Todner, the solicitor for Gary McKinnon, a hacker who has been fighting extradition to the US for six years, who said that she hopes the Foreign Office will have “learned lessons” from her client’s case, and that Mr. Cleary will be dealt with in the UK.

After Mr Cleary’s arrest, LulzSec announced it would disband. But the group re-emerged this week to claim credit for hacking the website of The Sun newspaper and publishing a spoof story that claimed Rupert Murdoch was dead.

Anonymous has claimed responsibility for attacks against corporate and government websites all over the world.

The group also claims to have disrupted the websites of Visa and MasterCard in December when the credit card companies stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

More than 60 people allegedly linked to either or both groups have now been arrested worldwide, including eight in Britain. Scotland Yard’s Police Central e-Crime Unit previously arrested five in January, one in April and one in June.

The 16-year-old who is allegedly Tflow could face extradition to the United States.

The majority of this article was written by Victoria Ward and Christopher Williams and published by The Telegraph on July 21, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.

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