Several "top members" of LulzSec have been arrested by the FBI with the help of the group's leader, who turned informant after being arrested last year.
We haven't heard much about LulzSec in recent months but for awhile last year it was the scourge of the internet, a sort of sugared-up, amoral Anonymous that really was just "doing it for the lulz." Its brief rampage ended as suddenly as it began, but today the group is back in the news thanks to the rather startling revelation that its leader, the man known as Sabu, was flipped by the FBI and became an informant almost a year ago ago.
Sabu has been revealed by the FBI as Hector Xavier Monsegur, and he's been working for the bureau since he was arrested in June 2011. Fox News [via Gizmodo] reported that after pleading guilty to more than ten charges related to his online activities, "he worked almost daily out of FBI offices, helping the feds identify and ultimately take down the other high-level members of LulzSec and Anonymous."
With Sabu's assistance, the FBI has charged five people with various crimes, arresting three so far: Ryan "Kayla" Ackroyd and Jake "Topiary" Davis of the U.K., Darren "pwnsauce" Martyn and Donncha "palladium" O'Cearrbhail of Ireland, and Jeremy "Anarchaos" Hammond of the U.S. Ackroyd is believed to be Monsegur's "top deputy"; Hammond, reportedly also a member of Anonymous, has been charged in a separate indictment for the attack on security and intelligence company Stratfor, which resulted in the loss of credit card information and millions of emails.
Monsegur, described by FoxNews.com as an "unemployed, 28-year-old father of two," apparently flipped on the group in order to avoid being separated from his children. "It was because of his kids. He didn't want to go away to prison and leave them," a law enforcement official said. "That's how we got him."
Regardless of how many more arrests are made because of Monsegur's cooperation, the FBI believes this spells the end of LulzSec. "This is devastating to the organization," another official said. "We're chopping off the head of LulzSec."
Thanks to sleeky01 for the tip.