Law enforcement official: LulzSec hackers arrested
By KMOV Web Producer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Top members of the computer hacking group LulzSec have been arrested and will face charges in New York, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.
Five people with the group were either under arrest or being sought, the official said. The details of the allegations weren't immediately available, but were expected to be made public in court documents being unsealed Tuesday morning.
The group also goes by the full name Lulz Security. Hackers associated with the group have claimed to be responsible for a variety of cyber attacks on big companies, law enforcement and government agencies.
The law enforcement official spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges hadn't yet been officially announced.
The first court document to become available Tuesday was a criminal information against Hector Xavier Monsegur, charging the Manhattan resident with conspiracy to engage in computer hacking, among other charges. Authorities say he pleaded guilty to the charges on Aug. 15.
According to the court papers, he was an "influential member of three hacking organizations -- Anonymous, Internet Feds and Lulz Security -- that were responsible for multiple cyber attacks on the computer systems of various businesses and governments in the United States and throughout the world."
According to the court papers, he acted as a "rooter," a computer hacker who identified vulnerabilities in the computer systems of potential victims.
The court papers said he participated in several cyber attacks from December 2010 through last June 7 as part of Anonymous, including attacks on Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, attacks on government computers in Tunisia, Algeria, Yemeni and Zimbabwea.
As part of Internet Feds, he was alleged to have participated in attacks against various business and government entities in the United States and throughout the world, including HBGary Inc., a private security firm, Fox Broadcasting Co. and the Tribune Co.
The court papers said he formed LulzSec last May with other elite hackers, who then attacked various divisions of Sony, a global electronics and media company, as well as the Public Broadcasting Service, the United States Senate, Unveillance, a cyber security firm headquartered in Delaware and Bethesday Softworks, a video game company based in Maryland.
Irish police said Tuesday that one of the five suspects had been arrested and was being held at a south Dublin police station.
They refused to release his name -- in line with force policy -- and declined to give any further details of the arrest, except to say that the man was being detained in connection with computer offenses.
LulzSec is a spin-off of the loosely organized hacking collective Anonymous. Its members attained notoriety last May by attacking the website of the public broadcaster PBS and posting a story claiming that the slain rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand.
Some alleged associates of the group are already facing charges elsewhere. An English teenager, Ryan Cleary, was arrested by British law enforcement in June and charged with being linked to the group. In July, a reputed LulzSec spokesman, Jake Davis, was arrested in Scotland.