21st September 2018
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Teenager accused of computer hacking to face court again early next year

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The Shetland teenager accused of computer hacking to disrupt websites operated by a range of organisations, including the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), will appear in court early next year to tender a plea.

Jake Davis, 18, who was arrested last month at his chalet in Hoofields, Lerwick, by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s e-crime unit, was not at Southwark Crown Court for today’s short hearing.

Davis’s case was heard alongside that of 19-year-old Ryan Cleary, from Wickford in Essex.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said they will both need to appear at the court for a plea and case management on 27th January next year.

Davis was apprehended as part of an investigation into hacking groups LulzSec and Anonymous. He was said to have used the online nickname “Topiary” and presented himself as a spokesman for the two groups.

The teenager faces five charges, including conspiring to carry out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the police agency. Such attacks see websites flooded with traffic to make them crash.

Davis is also charged with gaining unauthorised access to a computer system, encouraging or assisting offences, and with two counts of conspiracy to commit offences.

At a hearing earlier this month, the teenager was bailed to an address in Spalding, Lincolnshire, where his mother lives. He was also told he was not allowed to access the internet through a computer or mobile phone, either himself or by asking someone to do it for him.

Cleary, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome since he was arrested at his family home on Monday 20th June, is charged with conspiring with other people on or before that date to create a remotely-controlled network of zombie computers, known as a “botnet”, which crashes websites.

He is also alleged to have carried out attacks on or before 20th June against Soca, the British Phonographic Industry’s website and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s website, and with making, adapting or supplying a botnet for a DDoS attack.

He was given bail earlier on condition that he does not access the internet or have in his possession any device that could access the web. The alleged hacker was told he is to live and sleep at his address, and not leave the house other than in the company of his mother Rita Cleary.

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