LulzSec Leader Cuts Deal With FBI, Turns In Anonymous Members

In a huge strike against ‘the hacker movement’, the FBI have announced that the prominent leader of LulzSec and important Anonymous member, Sabu, has been working for them to help arrest several other high-profile hackers.

Sabu – now revealed to be unemployed 28-year-old New Yorker Hector Xavier Monsegur – was the head of the ‘hacktivist’ group LulzSec who were responsible for attacks on Sony, game publishers and the FBI themselves, as well as an important member of the leaderless Anonymous, who brought down the PSN last year (although neither group have been tied to the PSN hack). But over the past 9 months, Sabu was actually working with the FBI, gathering data on his fellow hackers and even hosting #F*ckFBIFridays on Twitter. In fact, Sabu posted the following only yesterday:

The federal government is run by a bunch of f*cking cowards. Don’t give in to these people. Fight back. Stay strong.

According to Fox, Sabu logged on to the chatroom without masking his IP just once, but it was enough for the FBI to catch him. A law enforcement officer involved in turning Sabu said:

He didn’t go easy. It was because of his kids. He didn’t want to go away to prison and leave them. That’s how we got him.

After they had Sabu on their side, he preceded to find information on other hackers, helping the FBI charge several other members of LulzSec and Anonymous, such as Ryan Ackroyd (aka kayla), Jake Davis (aka topiary), Darren Martyn (aka pwnsauce) and Donncha O’Cearrbhail (aka palladium).

An FBI official said:

This is devastating to the organization. We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.

But while this is likely be the end for LulzSec, the arrests will only serve to slow down Anonymous, and increase paranoia among the group. As they don’t have a leader, the FBI can’t “chop off the head of” Anonymous, but the fact that such experienced hackers have been charged may put some potential members off. The AnonymousIRC twitter said:

#Anonymous has grown beyond #LulzSec and @anonymouSabu

The true long-term effect of the arrest and subsequent turning of one of the world’s most important hackers remains to be seen – will it serve to drive Anonymous to become more aggressive and more secretive, or is it the beginning of their end?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Monsegur pleaded guilty to hacking charges on 15 August 2011