The online world was rocked yesterday by the news that a number of members of LulzSec and Anonymous were arrested following a betrayal by LulzSec leader “Sabu” and a coordinated action by law enforcement agencies on two continents.
Following yesterday’s unsealing of the indictment against the five alleged hackers, the FBI shared a lot of details.
According to the FBI, 28-year old Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka “Sabu,” aka “Xavier DeLeon,” aka “Leon,” identified himself as a member of Anonymous, Internet Feds, and LulzSec.
He pled guilty on August 15, 2011 to a 12-count information charging him with substantive hacking charges related to the hacks of HBGary, HBGary Federal, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Fox Broadcasting Company, Infragard Members Alliance, and PBS, as well as computer hacking conspiracy charges, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and bank fraud charges, and one count of aggravated identity theft. All in all, he faces a maximum sentence of 124 years and six months in prison.
23-year old Ryan Ackroyd, aka “kayla,” aka “lol,” aka “lolspoon” of Doncaster, UK; teenager Jake Davis, aka “topiary,” aka “atopiary” of the Shetland Islands, UK; 25-year old Darren Martyn, aka “pwnsauce,” aka “raepsauce,” aka “networkkitten” of Galway, Ireland; and 19-year old Donncha O’Cearrbhail, aka “palladium,” of Birr, Ireland, all of whom identified themselves as members of Anonymous, Internet Feds, and/or LulzSec, were charged with computer hacking conspiracy involving the hacks of Fox Broadcasting Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the Public Broadcasting Service.
O’Cearrbhail has also been charged in a separate criminal complaint with intentionally disclosing an unlawfully intercepted wire communication.
Ackroyd, Davis and Martyn could be put in prison for a maximum of 20 years, while O’Cearrbhail is looking at a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Finally, 27-year-old Jeremy Hammond, aka “Anarchaos,” aka “sup_g,” aka “burn,” aka “yohoho,” aka “POW,” aka “tylerknowsthis,” aka “crediblethreat,” of Chicago, who identified himself as a member of AntiSec, is charged in a criminal complaint with crimes relating to the December 2011 hack of Strategic Forecasting (“Stratfor”), which may have affected approximately 860,000 victims. He could be convicted to spend 30 years in prison.
Monsegur and other members of Anonymous took responsibility for a number of cyber attacks between December 2010 and June 2011, including DoS attacks against the websites of Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal, as retaliation for the refusal of these companies to process donations to Wikileaks, as well as hacks or DoS attacks on foreign government computer systems.
As the news about the arrests travelled at record speed through the Internet, Anonymous members and supporters took turns at raging against Sabu, saying they didn’t believe he had done all the authorities claim he has or that they understood why he did it, warning everybody to be more careful with their activities in the future, and claiming that the arrests won’t stop Anonymous from continuing their online crusades.
It seems probable that the last claim is true but, as F-Secure CTO Mikko Hypponen says, “It is going to be very difficult for Anonymous to recover from such a breach of trust. You can see the Anonymous people now looking left and right and realizing, if they couldn’t trust Sabu, who can they trust?”
In the meantime, Panda Security suffered the defacement of a great number of its Web pages by the hands of Anonymous because its Technical Director Luis Corrons praised the actions the law enforcement agencies involved in the bust and saying that they “have to find ways to cooperate even better with law enforcement.”
The defaced pages have already been cleaned up.