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The suspected leader of the hacking group Lulzsec has pleaded guilty to carrying out high profile attacks on several companies.
Hector Xavier Monsegur had been charged with conspiracy to engage in computer hacking according to unsealed court papers filed in Manhattan.
US law enforcement officers have said at least three members of the hacking group had been arrested.
Irish police added that they have arrested one of five men being sought in connection with the group and are holding him at a south Dublin police station.
Monsegur, 28, resident in New York City, was arrested by the FBI in June and has apparently acted as an informant against his crew since.
A copy of the indictment against Monsegur is available via krebsonsecurity.com here (PDF). He's charged with computer hacking, fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from attacks run by both Anonymous and LulzSec against numerous targets. According to the indictment, Monsegur's role in the alleged hacks was to look for vulnerabilities in websites that were then allegedly exploited either by him or other hackers.
Monsegur pled guilty on August 15, 2011 to three counts of computer hacking conspiracy, five counts of computer hacking, one count of computer hacking in furtherance of fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum sentence of 124 years and six months in prison, according to the US Attorney.
In a predictable backlash against the sweep that has netted suspected LulzSec members in America and Europe, Anonymous has defaced some Web pages of the security firm Panda Security.
As previously reported by The Register, the arrests turned on the assistance of Hector Xavier Monsegur, known in LulzSec circles as Sabu. Anonymous has added another name-to-blame to the list, accusing Panda Security of helping the FBI by infiltrating chat rooms and message boards.
The promo page, Panda Security’s “Cybercrime Files”, has been defaced with a long statement denouncing Sabu, and accusing the security company of “working with Law Enforcement to lurk and snitch on anonymous activists”.
Analysis The man named by the FBI as infamous hacktivist Sabu was undone by an embarrassing security blunder, it has emerged.
The alleged LulzSec kingpin eventually copped to a battery of hacking charges last August and was reported to have been "co-operating" with the FBI in the months leading up to yesterday's arrests.
Police locked onto Hector Xavier Monsegur, an unemployed 28-year-old from New York – allegedly LulzSec hacktivist supremo Sabu – after he apparently made the mistake of logging into an IRC chat server without using the Tor anonymisation service1.
According to Robert Graham of Errata Security Monsegur exposed his IP address, which allowed federal investigators to request records from ISPs and track down his location to a flat shared with his two sons on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
The trail to the New York apartment where a hacker named "Sabu" of LulzSec and Anonymous fame was arrested last June can be traced back to a former Anonymous participant who turned against the group over its WikiLeaks activities.