FBI Says LulzSec Hacker Kingpin Was an Informant

By Adam Clark Estes
The Atlantic Wire

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says that they’ve identified and arrested all of the key members of the now defunct hacktivist group LulzSec thanks to the clandestine cooperation of the group’s chief who told many of Anonymous’s secrets. According to Fox News’ sources, the hacker that goes by the handle Sabu — a.k.a. Hector Xavier Monsegur, an unemployed father of two living in New York City — has been feeding the Feds information since they unmasked him last summer. But those familiar with the hacker ways will know that doxing (that’s hackerspeak for exposing one’s true identity) can be a very complex game, and this is hardly the first time that someone’s claimed to identify Sabu or other LulzSec leader.

The timeline that Fox News lays out makes sense for a few reasons. Monsegur’s name, address, and personal information appeared online last June, and he was identified then as Sabu. However, that became one of many real identities that have become linked to the Sabu handle. In July, a fellow hacker said that Sabu was an IT professional from Portugal named Hugo Carvahlo, but that turned out to be false, like many other attempts to reveal him. The Feds don’t fool around, though. And they’re certainly proud of their bounty. “This is devastating to the organization,” an FBI official involved with the investigation told Fox News. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”

From the way Fox News tells the story, the downfall of LulzSec is complete. Citing “numerous senior-level officials,” Fox News’ Jana Winter named five hackers as those senior members whom Sabu ratted out:

Ryan Ackroyd, aka ‘Kayla’ (U.K.)
Jake Davis, aka ‘Topiary’ (U.K.)
Darren Martyn, aka ‘pwnsauce’ (Ireland)
Donncha O’Cearrbhail, aka ‘palladium,’ (Ireland)
Jeremy Hammond aka ‘Anarchaos’ (Chicago)

Nevertheless, we remain somewhat skeptical about what’s actually happening with the FBI’s continued struggle to break into the hacker community. It’s possible that they did grab the wrong Sabu or that Sabu is actually the identify of several Anonymous affiliates. We won’t know until we see the court documents and the information about Sabu is finally revealed.