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FBI Arrests Top LulzSec Members, Aided by Hacking Group’s Ringleader (Updated)

Top members of hacking collective LulzSec have fallen prey to the FBI, according to a report from Fox News

The FBI charged five members of online collective Anonymous with computer hacking and other crimes on Tuesday, while a sixth individual pled guilty to hacking, according to a statement by the Department of Justice on Tuesday.

All of them identified themselves as members of Anonymous, a loosely knit troop of hackers responsible for numerous acts of computer hacking — albeit intended as a form of civic disobedience. They also identified with offshoot organizations, such as LulzSec.

The leader of LulzSec has been working with the FBI for several months, leading to the arrest of many of the group’s top members. 

Hector Xavier Monsegur, also known as “Sabu,” has been aiding the FBI since the law enforcement agency found him last June. Monsegur, who lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a public housing project, pled guilty to 12 counts of hacking and other crimes last August.

His help makes his current Twitter account quite ironic. Less than 24 hours ago Sabu or someone using his account referred to the federal government as “a bunch of fucking cowards.” Then again, he also acknowledged that the feds use informants, read your mail and listen to your calls.

Also Read: Inside the LulzSec Hacker Group: Paranoia, Defection and Threats

Monsegur’s supposed help led to charges for two hackers from England — Ryan Ackroyd (aka "Kayla") and Jake Davis (aka "Topiary"), two from Ireland — Darren Martyn (aka "pwnsauce") and Donncha O'Cearrbhail (aka "palladium") — and one American – Jeremy Hammond (aka "Anarchaos"). Hammond lives in Chicago.

LulzSec is responsible for attacks on everyone from Sony to News Corp. (Coincidentally, News Corp.'s own Fox News broke this story Tuesday morning.) It reportedly shut down its operations for a while because law enforcement agencies had infiltrated its ranks and debilitated the organization.

Anonymous has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks over the past few years, and has injected itself into major debates over topics such as piracy and Wikileaks. 

The DOJ credits Anonymous with attacks on Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and many others. It also says these hackers, operating under the moniker of "Internet Feds," engaged in "a deliberate campaign of online destruction, intimidation and criminality."

Monsegur's aid to the FBI begs the question of whether this poses a threat to other membres of the larger, more prolific Anonymous.