Five men believed to be leading members of so-called “hacktivism” groups have been charged with computer hacking after the leader of one of the highestprofile organisations, LulzSec, turned police informant, it has emerged.
“Sabu”, the public figurehead of LulzSec andstrongly linked with Anonymous – the groups allegedly responsible for attacks on Paypal and Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, among others – began working for the FBI after being arrested in connection with a series of hacks, US press reports revealed.
The news comes as a major blow for the hacktivist movement, which has seen some of its most vocal supporters arrested. Yesterday, an FBI official was quoted as saying it was a 'devastating' blow and added: “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.” Reports that Sabu has been working for the FBI since August last year first surfaced on Fox News yesterday. Later in the day, the FBI confirmed that the five were arrested and charged over various alleged computer hacks.
According to court papers filed in federal court in New York, Hector Xavier Monsegur, 28, revealed by FBI officials to be “Sabu”, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of computer hacking, including attacks on the websites of PayPal, MasterCard and Visa on 15 August last year.
British men Ryan Ackroyd, the highranking LulzSec member “Kayla” and Jake Davis, who uses the online name “Topiary”, were among those arrested, the FBI said.