LulzSec 'leader' Sabu betrayed Anonymous hackers, reports claim

Filed Under: Law & order

LulzSec and AnonymousAccording to a report by Fox News, computer crime authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have charged and arrested alleged computer hackers suspected of belonging to the LulzSec and Anonymous hacktivist groups.

An FBI press release has subsequently named those charged as 23-year-old Ryan Ackroyd (aka "kayla", "lol", "lolspoon"), of Doncaster, United Kingdom, 29-year-old Jake Davis (aka "Topiary", "atopiary"), 25-year-old Darren Martyn (aka "pwnsauce", "raepsauce", "networkkitten"), Galway, Ireland, and 19-year-old Donncha O'Cearrbhail (aka "palladium"), of Birr, Ireland.

In addition, the FBI says they have arrested 27-year-old Jeremy Hammond (aka "Anarchaos", "sup_g", "burn", "yohoho", "POW", "tylerknowsthis", "crediblethreat") in Chicago, Illinois, in relation to a hack against Stratfor.

The news coincides with reports that the infamous hacker Sabu, who acted as a prominent mouthpiece for the hacktivist community, is said to have betrayed his comrades in LulzSec and Anonymous, and have been secretly working undercover for the FBI for months.

Fox News goes so far as to name Hector Xavier Monsegur, an unemployed Puerto Rican father-of-two, living in public housing project in New York's Lower East Side, as "Sabu".

Hector Xavier Monsegur

According to a Reuters report, Monsegur has pleaded guilty to carrying out internet attacks on the likes of PayPal and MasterCard.

The Fox News report claims that Monsegur has been helping the FBI with their investigation into LulzSec and Anonymous since he was unmasked in June 2011. That would place Sabu's interaction with the FBI before the high profile arrests of others alleged to be involved with LulzSec - including Jake Davis (aka "Topiary"), who was located in the British Shetland Islands, and British teenager Ryan Cleary.

If the latest reports of Sabu helping the FBI uncover others in LulzSec and Anonymous are true, it's quite a betrayal. Just yesterday Sabu tweeted a seemingly defiant message to the computer crime authorities:

Tweet from Sabu

Of course, just because Sabu may have been outed as working for the FBI and helping them with their enquiries, it doesn't mean it's the end of Anonymous.

I'm sure Sabu might have had information and contacts that would have been of great interest to the authorities, but it's cloud cuckoo land to believe that the hacktivist element of Anonymous will fall apart because of this.

As for LulzSec? Well, their activities pretty much ceased around about the time that their Twitter account stopped posting messages. Which, coincidentally, occurred at the same time that Jake Davis was arrested.

You can learn more about just how the FBI turned Hector Xavier Monsegur (also known as "Sabu") in this Fox News report.

The reign of LulzSec
Here's just a short summary of just some of the hacks, internet attacks and indeed arrests associated with the LulzSec gang during 2011:

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8 Responses to LulzSec 'leader' Sabu betrayed Anonymous hackers, reports claim

  1. NoSpin1600 · 938 days ago

    Not buying the story of the identity of Sabu.

  2. Jamie · 938 days ago

    What makes me laugh is that in most of the "attacks" they are simply exposing poor security from site administrators and website owners. In some cases they have performed admirable work, eg blocking child porn... Seems the governments are making the movies come true...stay quiet, keep in line, or be arrested... It's Wikileaks all over again...

  3. Gary · 938 days ago

    > including Jake Davis (aka "Topiary"), who was located in the Shetland Islands,
    > and British teenager Ryan Cleary

    From this we should deduce that Jake isn't British - and that the Shetland Islands are not part of Great Britain? Doesn't sound right to me...

  4. Matt Flynn · 938 days ago

    And the rogue insider strikes again - making public confidential organizational info.

  5. Steve · 938 days ago

    Just goes to show.

    If you can't trust someone who is anonymous and hiding behind a silly name on the internet, who can you trust?

  6. ftw. · 938 days ago

    thats the way governments fight back. take a random person, give him a name and make publicity around it.
    should it be true... it's like you make allies with the rapist of your child.
    and last but not least:
    Sometimes the best way to fight, is to stay close to your enemy.
    ^"#µ

  7. dazzlepod · 937 days ago

    Gentlemen, it's called diversion..

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.