FBI cracks down on LulzSec

Five people have been arrested by the FBI in connection with LulzSec, the hacking group that claimed a number of high profile business and government victims last year.

Two of the arrested – 23-year old Ryan Ackroyd aka ‘kayla’ and 29 year old Jake Davis aka ‘topiary’ – are based in the UK. Another two are in Ireland and the fifth, 27-year old Jeremy Hammond, was in Chicago, Illinois.

A sixth hacker, known as ‘Sabu’ and identified by the FBI as Hector Xavier Monsegur, plead guilty to crimes including "computer hacking conspiracies" in August last year. Details of his confession were revealed today in a New York court.

In a statement for the press, the FBI said that the information required to bring the charges was based on the testimony of ‘Sabu’.

Five of the arrested individuals (all except Hammond) have been charged with hacking IT security firm HBGary, Irish political party Fin Gael, and the Fox Broadcasting Company, allegedly to steal data about potential contestant ‘X Factor’ TV programme.

After the publicity from these attacks, this group formed as LulzSec, the FBI claims. They then perpetrated attacks on targets including US broadcaster PBS, Sony Pictures Entertainment and video game developer Bethesda Software.

Last month, hacktivist group Anonymous, with which LulzSec was loosely affiliated, released a hacked conference call between the FBI and members of the Metropolitan Police’s e-crime unit. In it, Met officers revealed that the arrest of Ryan Ackroyd, who is based in Doncaster, had been delayed following discussions with authorities in New York.

The FBI today claimed that the conference call had been compromised after one of the Irish alleged hackers accessed the personal email account of an Irish police officer. The officer had forwarded dial-in details of the conference call to his personal account, allowing the hackers to tune in, it is alleged.

Hammond was also charged with conspiring to hack private security research company StratFor, under the ‘AntiSec’ banner, and stealing credit card details and emails. Transparency pressure group Wikileaks’ most recent leak was a cache of emails from StratFor.

Beatrice Bartlay

Beatrice Bartlay founded 2B Interface, a temporary and permanent staffing agency in 2005 and has since been serving the UK recruitment sector with specialised services. With more than ten years’ experience...

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