Anonymous suspects bailed – banned from using online nicknames and IRC

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

LulzSecFour men appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court today in connection with various Anonymous and LulzSec internet attacks, and were granted bail on the condition that they did not use specific online nicknames on the internet or IRC.

Hackers affiliated with Anonymous and LulzSec have used IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels as their primary method of coordinating attacks and communicating with each other, using online nicknames as a veil of anonymity.

The men will break the conditions of their bail if they use specific online nicknames on websites:

20-year-old Christopher Jan Weatherhead, from Northampton, cannot use the internet nickname “Nerdo”.

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Ashley Rhodes, 26, from London, is banned from calling himself “NikonElite” online.

22-year-old student Peter David Gibson, of Hartlepool, County Durham, is banned from using the name “Peter” on the internet (which must be awkward), and a 17-year-old from Chester is not allowed to use his online nickname.

The four are separately charged with conspiracy to impair the operation of a computer or hinder access to a program or data. Police arrested the men earlier this year, following a series of denial-of-service and hacking attacks against the websites of different organisations and companies.

There will, no doubt, be some raised eyebrows that the men’s bail conditions do not insist upon a complete ban on internet access, considering the nature of the allegations against them.

According to CourtNewsUK, the judge said that such an internet ban was unworkable:

The suspected hackers are scheduled to appear at Southwark Crown Court on November 18th.

Hat-tip: The Guardian.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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