According to Jana Winter of Fox News, Hector Xavier Monsegur (aka @AnonymouSabu), the leader of the infamous LulzSec group responsible for "billions of dollars in damage to governments, international banks and corporations," had been "secretly working for the government for months". Reportedly, after the "FBI unmasked Monsegur last June, he became a cooperating witness."
As a result of Monsegur's cooperation, which was confirmed by numerous senior-level officials, the remaining top-ranking members of LulzSec were arrested or hit with additional charges Tuesday morning. The five charged in the LulzSec conspiracy indictment expected to be unsealed were identified by sources 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.
From the article on Gizmodo:
The name Sabu should be familiar: as part of LulzSec, a potent offshoot of Anonymous, he masterminded legendary attacks against the CIA, FBI, Sony, and numerous other corporate and government targets. He was their Captain Hook. That was before. Fox News reports the shadowy hack deity is not only confirmed to be 28-year-old New Yorker Hector Xavier Monsegur, but that Sabu has been "collaborating with the government for months," leading to a string of arrests around the world today. It's unclear how many will be dragged down with Sabu's nine months of federal collaborating, but it's safe to assume whatever vestiges of LulzSec remained are toast -- we'll know for sure when all of the indictments are unsealed.
Meanwhile, website Ars Technica has a piece explaining how the FBI built their case against another LulzSec member, Anarchos, with the hacking of Stratfor.
The FBI tracked down Hammond with information he had shared in IRC logs from different aliases, and by tying those aliases together with the help of Monsegur. Hammond gave away his location by revealing last August that friends of his had been arrested at the "Midwest Rising" protest in St. Louis on August 15. In another chat, he revealed that he had been arrested in New York City in 2004 during the Republican National Convention. And he also revealed information that indicated he had served time in a federal prison.
Using federal criminal records and other data, FBI investigators were able to narrow the field of suspects rapidly. The FBI had dealt with Hammond before -- he had been arrested in March of 2005 for hacking into the site of Protest Warrior, a conservative political activist group, and stealing its database, including credit card information. He served two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
And for the very curious, here is how the whole operation took place:
"Script kiddie" -- no hacker worth his salt wants to hear the term used to describe him. Anyone with modest computer skills can cause modest havoc using other people's code fragments, scanners, and infiltration tools, but this is little more than knowing how to point a gun in the right direction and pull the trigger. It lacks art. True hacking requires a deep knowledge of computer and network security, an ability to navigate around obstacles, and the willingness to be careful enough to always hide one's tracks. The script kiddies, they might be easy targets for the feds, but the true hackers? Shadows are their home.
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