07 March 2012 at 15:59 BST

Top hacker unmasked as FBI mole

Hector Xavier Monsegur - renown throughout computer hacking communities as 'Sabu' -- has been unmasked as an FBI mole after his information led to the arrest of five men.

Hackers: arrests made

Mr Monsegur, 28, had been living a double life from his New York apartment, as his on-line persona turned him into a celebrity among hackers, according to The Guardian.
He had risen through the ranks of high-profile hacker group LulzSec, becoming its figurehead, and he also cultivated links to Anonymous – a hacker group responsible for countless attacks. It was often his role to identify ‘weak spots’ in the websites of global firms for other ‘hacktivists’ to exploit.

Hacking charges

Mr Monsegur was originally a hacker who was discovered by the FBI after carelessly logging into a chat room from his own internet address. It is understood that he was then persuaded to go under cover for the agency, spying on the hacking community.
Reports that ‘Sabu’ had been working for the FBI since August 2011 were publicised yesterday by US network Fox News, with the FBI later confirming that another five people had been arrested on hacking charges.

Website attacks

The Independent reports that court files show Mr Monsegur had pleaded guilty to 12 counts of hacking, including attacks on the websites of Paypal, Mastercard and Visa.
The five men arrested and charged include two Britons, Ryan Ackroyd, known as ‘Kayla’ and Jake Davis, referred to online as ‘Topiary’. The other alleged hackers are Irishmen Donncha O’Cearrbhail, ‘Palladium’, and Darren Martyn, ‘Pwnsauce’, as well as Jeremy Hammond, ‘Anarchaos’, from Chicago.
 
   
 
 
 

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