Federal authorities on Tuesday said they charged six members of Anonymous and its offshoot hacking groups in connection with multiple attacks on corporations and government agencies.
The hacking victims include Sony Pictures Entertainment,
Hector Xavier Monsegur, 28, of New York pleaded guilty last August to computer hacking conspiracies and other crimes; his guilty plea was unsealed Tuesday. According to FOX News, Monsegur – also known as “Sabu” – was the suspected ringleader of LulzSec, an Anonymous offshoot, and became a mole for law enforcement after his arrest.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, Monsegur and other members of Anonymous took responsibility for several cyberattacks between December 2010 and June 2011, including DoS attacks against Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, in retaliation for the companies’ refusal to process donations to WikiLeaks.
During roughly that same time period, Monsegur and four other suspects who identified themselves as members of the Internet Feds hacking group broke into the computers of HBGary and its affiliate HBGary Federal, Fox Broadcasting, and FineGael, a political party in Ireland, according to officials. At Fox, the group allegedly stole personal information related to more than 70,000 potential contestants on the “X-Factor” TV show.
In May 2011, Monsegur and three others formed LulzSec and hacked into PBS, Sony, and video game company Bethesda Softworks, authorities said. The group allegedly stole confidential information of 100,000 users of Sony’s website and of 200,000 users of Bethesda’s site.
In December 2011, authorities say Jeremy Hammond, 27, of Chicago, conspired to hack into Strafor’s computer systems and stole confidential information. He allegedly identified himself as a member of the AntiSec hacking group.
The four others charged Tuesday are Ryan Ackroyd, 23, of Doncaster, UK, Jake Davis, 29, of Lerwick, Shetland Islands, UK, Darren Martyn, 25, of Galway, Ireland, and Donncha O’Cearrbhail, 19, of Birr, Ireland.