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Internet Law

5 Claimed ‘Anonymous’ Affiliates Face US Hacking Case After Leader Took Plea in Secret Court Hearing

Posted Mar 6, 2012 6:47 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In what authorities are calling the first case brought in the United States against defendants they say are affiliated with the hacktivist groups known as Anonymous and Lulz Security, five individuals have been charged with the help of a notorious computer vandal who reportedly served as an FBI informant.

Known as "Sabu," the self-taught computer programmer living in public housing in New York is actually Hector Xavier Monsegur, 28, authorities say. He cooperated with the FBI for months after pleading guilty to 12 charges in a secret court hearing in August, leading to the current charges against five others in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to ABC News, the New York Times (reg. req.) and Reuters.

In an exclusive story earlier today, Fox News explained how the FBI got its man and persuaded him to cooperate.

The others now charged in the case are Jeremy Hammond, also known as Anarchaos, of Chicago; Ryan Ackroyd, aka Kayla, and Jake Davis, aka Topiary, of London; and, from Ireland, Darren Martyn, aka Pwnsauce, and Donncha O’Cearrbhail, aka Palladium.

With Monsegur as their alleged ringleader, the defendants hacked into corporate and government agencies worldwide, including the U.S. Senate, authorities say. They are also accused of retaliating for news coverage they didn't like on the PBS program Frontline by hacking onto a PBS website last year and planting a fake story that Tupac Shakur, a slain rapper, was actually alive and well in New Zealand.

A Twitter account linked to Monsegur has 45,000 followers, ABC News reports. A Twitter account linked to LulzSec has 350,000, Reuters reports.

A Bloomberg article provides additional details about the case.

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