Top members alleged to be part of the hacking group LulzSec were charged today in a sweeping operation that spanned the globe.
All totaled, six people have been charged in the case for their involvement in a series of attacks. In a surprising turn of events, LulzSec’s lead hacker, known by the alias “Sabu”, has been moonlighting for the government as a confidential report since last August. Sabu – who is reported to be Hector Xavier Monsegur, a 28-year-old from New York City – has been working with the government since pleading guilty to 12 hacking-related charges Aug. 15, 2011, according to the FBI.
The other five charged in the case were identified as: Ryan Ackroyd, aka “Kayla” and Jake Davis, aka “Topiary,” both of London; Darren Martyn, aka “pwnsauce” and Donncha O’Cearrbhail, aka “palladium,” both of Ireland; and Jeremy Hammond aka “Anarchaos,” of Chicago.
“This is devastating to the organization,” an FBI official involved with the investigation told Fox News. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”
The charges the group is facing cover a number of high-profile incidents involving hackers tied to a three groups: Anonymous, Internet Feds and LulzSec. Between December 2010 and May 2011, Internet Feds members Ackroyd, Davis, Martyn, O’Cearrbhail, and Monsegur engaged in a number of attacks, including the hacking of the Website of Fine Gael, an Irish political party; security firm HBGary and its affiliate HBGary Federal; and the hack of computer systems belonging to the Fox Broadcasting Company.
According to the FBI, Ackroyd, Davis, Martyn and Monsegur joined forces to form LulzSec, shorthand for Lulz Security. From there, the four went on a hacking spree whose targets included Sony Pictures Entertainment, Maryland-based Bethesda Softworks and PBS.
Hammond meanwhile is accused of crimes related to the December 2011 attack on security think-tank Stratfor. In that incident, emails, credit card numbers and the company’s closely-guarded client list were stolen from the company’s systems.
Monsegur meanwhile pled guilty Aug. 15, 2011, to his involvement in the attacks on HBGary and HBGary Federal as well as Sony, Fox, PBS and Infragard Members Alliance.
“If the latest reports of Sabu helping the FBI uncover others in LulzSec and Anonymous are true, it's quite a betrayal,” blogged Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. Last week, Interpol arrested 25 hackers believed to be linked to Anonymous in four countries in Latin America and Europe. In response, hacktivists launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the Interpol Website.