The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested three alleged members of the hacker group Lulz Security, and charged two others with conspiracy to commit crimes. According to Fox News, which broke the story, the international takedown was made possible by none other than Hector Xavier Monsegur, better known as “Sabu,” the alleged leader of LulzSec.
Monsegur reportedly turned FBI informant this summer after he was arrested and charged on 12 counts of hacking-related crimes. The 28-year-old resident of New York City, who Fox News describes as a “computer genius” and “one of the world’s most wanted criminal masterminds,” opted to betray his fellow hackers to avoid having to leave his two young children, according to the FBI.
One of the two agents who spoke with Fox News also characterized Monsegur as “brilliant, but lazy.”
Those charged include: Ryan Ackroyd, aka “Kayla” and Jake Davis, aka “Topiary,” both of whom are from London; Darren Martyn, aka “pwnsauce” and Donncha O’Cearrbhail, aka “palladium,” both of Ireland; and Jeremy Hammond, aka “Anarchaos,” of Chicago. These individuals are allegedly the remaining top bass of LulzSec, and operated under Sabu/Monsegur.
After news of Monsegur’s reported betrayal, Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown said on Twitter that his apartment “was raided this morning by the FBI,” and that agents “came to another residence where I actually was.” Brown was not arrested, but he said that the FBI “wanted laptops” instead.
“Sabu is a traitor,” he added.
My apartment was raided this morning by the FBI. Feds also came to another residence where I actually was. Sabu is a traitor. #Anonymous
— Barrett Brown (@BarrettBrownLOL) March 6, 2012
LulzSec, a nefarious offshoot of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, began its digital campaign of chaos in late May of last year by hacking PBS.org, and posting a fake story that said deceased rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand. The “lulz” lasted for 50 days before the group called it quits. In that time, LulzSec successfully hit Web properties of Nintendo, FBI affiliate Infragard Atlanta, more than 50 porn sites, Bethesda software, 4Chan.org, CIA.gov, Senate.gov, a variety of websites owned by Sony, and various law enforcement agencies in Arizona. Some reported estimates put the damage caused by LulzSec in the billions of dollars, though we have not seen specific evidence to support this claim.
The full details of Monsegur’s case are expected to be released Tuesday morning by the Southern District Court of New York.