Law enforcement officials in Europe and the U.S. acted in unison this morning to arrest five hacktivist members of Anonymous offshoot Lulzsec, acting on information leaked by the group's leader, Hector Xavier Mensegu, who went by the codename Sabu and had been working with the federal government for months, according to FoxNews. LulzSec is allegedly responsible for billions of dollars in damage to governments, international banks and corporations through their coordinated cyber-attacks.
Sabu, a 28-year old unemployed father of two, lived in a Lower East Side housing project, which served as the nerve center for a vast network of computer hackers numbering in the thousands and operating around the world. His primary role was to identify weak spots for the hackers to target and then spread that information.
After Sabu was unmasked by the FBI last June he was forced to leak information to the federal government or face jail time himself, after pleading guilty to charges on August 15.
They caught him and he was secretly arrested and now works for the FBI, a source close to Sabu told FoxNews.com.
Three members of Lulzsec were arrested and two more have been charged with conspiracy. Charges against four of the five were based on a conspiracy case filed in New York federal court.
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The five hacktivists charged in the LulzSec conspiracy and hacking indictment have been identified as Ryan Ackroyd, AKA Kayla and Jake Davis, AKA Topiary, both from London; Darren Martyn, AKA pwnsauce and Donncha O'Cearrbhail, AKA palladium, both from Ireland; and Jeremy Hammond AKA Anarchaos, of Chicago.
This is devastating to the organization, claimed an FBI official involved with the investigation told FoxNews. We're chopping off the head of LulzSec.
Hammond was arrested on charges of access device fraud and hacking. He is believed to be the main hacker behind the attack on US security company Stratfor, in which he stole the company's records and sent the information to Wikileaks. Hammong will be charged in a separate indictment, according to Fox's sources.
Kayla is alleged to be Sabur's top deputy. He reportedly identified vulnerabilities in the US Senate's computer systems and passed the information on to Sabu.
This is not the first time Lulzsec members have been arrested, and in the past hackers vocally accused Sabu of working as a government informant. In August 2011 in an online public chat, Anonymous member Virus accused Sabu of ratting out his co-hacktivists.
I'm absolutely positive, you already got raided, and are setting your friends up and when they're done draining you for information and arrests they'll sentence you and it'll make nose, he wrote.
However, Sabu stayed defiant until the end, angrily defending himself on Twitter to his 45,000 followers. On Monday, March 5, he tweeted, The federal government is run by a bunch of f-cking cowards. Don't give in to these people. Fight back. Stay strong.
In his final message he wrote in German, Sabu's final tweet: Die Revolution sagt ich bin, ich war, ich werde sein. Translation: The revolution says I am, I was, I will be.
Anonymous Reacts on Twitter
Twitter users claiming to represent Anonymous, which in fact has no one voice or leader, took to the social media website to respond to the breaking news that one of their high ranking members had been exposed as a government informant. While some responses bashed Sabu as a two faced betrayer of Anonymous's cause, many claimed that his betrayal and the subsequent arrests were insignificant.
This message was echoed by several other members.
The hive is fine, sabu wasnt needed ,or as important as u think, tweeted @DoxCak3, a self described Google terrorist. The show goes on put on your big boy pants #whellskeepturnin [sic].
Not 4 nothing but, #LulzSec had their time, wrote @an0nyc. Sabu being a snitch isn't far from what most people thought anyway. You can't snitch on an idea.
Other high profile Anonymous Twitter accounts focused on the fact that Anonymous has no leader, a central tenet of the group's structure.
Anonymous does NOT have a leader, wrote @AnonymousPress. Never has, never will [to those questioning].
We are #anonymous and we have NO LEADERS! wrote @Anon_Support
Other Anonymous members had a different approach to the news, lashing out at Sabu.
One message circulating on Twitter simply listed a NY address, phone number and other personal information that may or may not belong to Sabu.