Scotland Yard's Metropolitan Police has quadrupled its cybercrime unit to 85 officers in the past two months, as investigations continue into hactivist groups LulzSec and Anonymous.
This week has also seen a war of words -- not just between Microsoft and Google over their patent disputes, but with tweets between the London based police service and members of LulzSec and Anonymous.(Image via Flickr)
After recent developments in the ongoing investigation, including the arrest of LulzSec spokesperson "Topiary" -- Jake Davis, an 18-year-old from the Shetland Isles in Scotland -- the police are making progress in tracking down members of the hacktivist groups.
While others have been arrested, namely Ryan Cleary, a 16-year-old from Essex in England, the apparent leader of the LulzSec and Anonymous groups are still unaccounted for.
Some of the highest profile hacks have been against the CIA, the FBI, the Arizona police department and the -- along with a series of denial-of-service attacks against major websites, some owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International group.
Earlier this week, the Metropolitan Police took the unusual step in tweeting a warning to potential hacktivists, reminding users of the laws revolving around computer hacking and potential criminal activity.
"The investigation into the criminal activity of so-called "hacktivist" groups #Anonymous and #LulzSec continue..."
In its extended tweet, it reminds members of Anonymous and LulzSec that:
"Anyone considering accessing a computer without authority should understand that such acts are unlawful and can carry a term of imprisonment.
Under UK legislation, it is an offence if a person acts from within the UK upon a computer anywhere else in the world. It is also an offence if someone anywhere else in the world to criminally affect a computer within the UK."
The @AnonymousIRC account, one of many relating to the Anonymous group, replied to the police's tweet with:
"http://bit.ly/mTzWRt | Dear Met: "When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes a duty." | #FreeTopiary #AntiSec"
According to the Guardian, the cybercrime unit has had its budget increased by £30 million ($49m) to assist in ongoing operations into computer intrusion.
Scotland Yard is one of many international law enforcement agencies working in tracking down LulzSec and Anonymous members who actively engage in hacking.
Reports today that LulzSec and Anonymous are 'heading stateside' indicate further attacks against U.S. government installations could be only around the corner.