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LulzSec Members Arrested With Help From Group’s Leader

FBI has supposedly captured senior members of LulzSec in the UK, Chicago and Ireland

The hacking collective LulzSec has reportedly been brought down by the FBI with the help of the group’s leader Sabu, identified as 28-year-old Hector Xavier Monsegur in a report from Fox News.

Authorities arrested three senior members of the organisation and charges against a further two will be made public soon, law enforcement officials told Reuters.

Double agent

Fox News reports that charges against four of the five were based on a conspiracy case filed in a New York federal court. Among the members identified in the indictment are Jake Davis, LulzSec’s mouthpiece also known as ‘Topiary’, and ‘Kayla’. Both men were arrested in the UK by eCrime police last October.

Other codenames mentioned include ‘pwnsauce’ and ‘palladium’, both from Ireland.  Chicago-based ‘Anarchaos’ will supposedly be charged separately as a member of Anonymous rather than LulzSec.

“This is devastating to the organisation,” an FBI official told Fox News. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”

The arrests came about after LulzSec’s leader was “flipped” by the FBI. Monsegur, an unemployed Puerto Rican living in New York, was charged with aggravated identity theft last year and faced a two-and-a-half year jail sentence, according to Fox News. However an indictment dated April 2011 claimed that he faced a fine of up to $250 million (£160m) or up to 10 years in jail for a computer fraud violation.

It is thought that he cooperated with the FBI so he could stay with his two children. He pleaded guilty to more than ten charges in August and supposedly began working with law enforcement authorities a few weeks later.

His role within the FBI was to gather evidence against other senior members of the collective and send misinformation among followers on his Twitter account. He also allegedly prevented attacks on government agencies, including the CIA, and financial institutions.

On Monday Monsegur, still in his role as Sabu, wrote on his Twitter account: “The federal government is run by a bunch of fucking cowards. Don’t give in to [sic] these people. Fight back. Stay strong”.

LulzSec undertook a campaign of hacking and DDoS attacks with the broader Anonymous group last year, with targets including Sony, various Mexican government websites and Stratfor.