Hackers should beware bogus UPS couriers bearing handcuffs…

Alexander J Martin of The Register describes the arrest of British student Lauri Love, who allegedly hacked the FBI and NSA, and is wanted for extradition by the United States:

Lauri Love was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 early in the evening of 25 October 2013, when a National Crime Agency officer wearing dungarees and posing as a UPS courier told Love’s mother that Lauri himself had to come to the porch to collect his delivery.

In his dressing gown and pyjamas, Love confirmed his identity and was then informed of the ruse and handcuffed. Over the next five hours a total of 14 NCA officers attended the property wearing agency-branded windbreakers, which were easy visible to the neighbours.

Six of these officers had been tasked with searching for digital media which are alleged to contain evidence that the 28-year-old had criminally accessed private sector, military and government computer systems in the United States.

The agency believed their courier ruse had been necessary because, they claimed, intelligence had suggested that Love’s computer equipment could be encrypted “at the press of a button” which, if activated, would “frustrate the object of the search,” though even with this successfully executed approach the officers still collected encrypted devices.

Quite what UPS thinks of its brand being used by the police in this way is unclear…

Sign up to our free newsletter.
Security news, advice, and tips.

Last month, the National Crime Agency (NCA) failed in its court attempt to force Love into disclose his passwords, and decrypt seized computers. The extradition proceedings, however, are ongoing.

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.

3 comments on “Hackers should beware bogus UPS couriers bearing handcuffs…”

  1. Ralph Spooner

    Offer life in prison with no access to computers, cell phone or any electronic device or 10 years and possibly no extradition if he gives up the encryption keys to his devices. If he refuses, then make it life, no parole and solitary confinement in a rf proof cell.

    1. Anon · in reply to Ralph Spooner

      Ralph Spooner – You are ignorant! The NCA have not brought charges against him nor can find any evidence whatsoever to even charge him with minor offences. Why should he give up encryption on his personal equipment that holds deeply personal information and no business of anyone else? Might I suggest you wind your neck in and obtain facts before making unhelpful and stupid comments.

  2. Jim

    UPS. Undercover Police Spoof? Seems reasonable to me. ;-)

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.