A sweeping operation to bring down one of the Internet's most notorious hacking collectives has led to the arrest and charging of five people after their former leader worked with the FBI to bring the organization down.
Hector Xavier Monsegur, who is also known as "Sabu" in Internet circles, allegedly had been working with the government for months to help bring down "LulzSec," a spin-off of the widely-known Anonymous hacking group.
As a result of the operation, five people in the United States and the United Kingdom were arrested and charged with computer hacking and other crimes Tuesday morning. An additional person pleaded guilty as well. Each of the members is alleged to be a part of offshoot groups from the "Anonymous" hacking collective, including Internet Feds, LulzSec and Antisec.
Monsegur, the ringleader of LulzSec pleaded guilty to 12 counts of computer hacking in August of 2011. Targets of the group included Fox, Sony and PBS.
The charged suspected hackers include Ryan Ackroyd, 23, of Doncaster, United Kingdom, Jake Davis, 29, of Lerwick in the Sheltan Islands, Darren Martyn, 23, of Galway, Ireland, Donncha O'Cearrbhail, 19, of Birr, Ireland and Jeremy Hammond, 27, of Chicago.
Ackroyd, Davis and Martyn each face two counts of computer hacking conspiracy, O'Ceaerrbhail is charged with computer hacking and disclosing an intercepted wire communication and Hammond faces conspiracy, hacking and conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
The FBI says that Ackroyd, David, Martyn, O'Cerrbhail and Monsegur engaged in a series of cyber attacks on multiple corporations and banking institutions between December 2010 and May 2011. Hammond, on the other hand, is accused of conspiring to hack into computer systems used by Stratfor, a geopolitical analytics firm.
Officials believe the hacking operations did millions of dollars worth of damage.