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The four leaders of the LulzSec hacking group have been arrested by US and British police after its chief hacker collaborated for months with authorities to help bust former colleagues, FoxNews reports.
Hector Xavier Monsegur, 28, described by federal authorities as the LulzSec leader known as Sabu, was arrested with four others as law enforcement agencies made arrests in the US and Britain Tuesday.
Charges against the four were based on a conspiracy case filed in New York federal court, according to FoxNews.
Monsegur pleaded guilty on 15 August to 12 hacking-related charges relating to attacks on Fox Broadcasting, Sony Pictures and the Public Broadcasting Service, the FBI said.
His admission was unsealed yesterday.
Charged on Tuesday with the reported assistance of Monsegur were Ryan Ackroyd,23, (Kayla) and Jake Davis, 29, (Topiary) of Britain; Darren Martyn, 25, (pwnsauce) and Donncha O’Cearrbhail, 19, (palladium) of Ireland, and Jeremy Hammond, 27, (Anarchaos) of Chicago.
All were charged in connection with various hacks allegedly carried out by Anonymous, Internet Feds or LulzSec.
Ackroyd, Davis and Martyn were each charged with two counts of computer hacking conspiracy. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, if convicted.
FoxNews reported Hammond was arrested on access device fraud and hacking charges relating to the December hack which he led against intelligence company Stratfor.
O’Cearrbhail, 19, was accused of hacking the personal email account of an officer in Ireland’s national police service. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted, and imprisonment of 10 years for a separate a computer hacking conspiracy charge.
Hammond would be charged separately and was described as a member of the Anonymous collective.
“Monsegur and other members of Anonymous took responsibility for a number of cyber attacks between December 2010 and June 2011, including denial of service 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,” the FBI said in a press release.
“Between December 2010 and May 2011, members of Internet Feds similarly waged a deliberate campaign of online destruction, intimidation, and criminality”.
FoxNews said Monsegur was an unemployed father of two based in public housing estate in New York.
It reported that he had cooperated with the FBI since the agency revealed his identity in June last year and said Ackroyd was his “top deputy”.
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