Sources: Fed Probe of ‘Anonymous’ Hackers Continues; ‘LulzSec’ Case Could Yield New Indictments in HBGary Case
Posted on | May 24, 2012 | 17 Comments
Federal officials pursuing a wide-ranging investigation of the so-called “Anonymous” hacking conspiracy are beginning to track connections in wake of their success in cracking the related international ring of computer pirates known as “LulzSec,” sources close to the probe have told me exclusively.
Less than two weeks ago, convicted hacker Jeremy Hammond, 27 – who previously served two years in prison for a scheme to steal credit card information of donors to the conservative group Protest Warrior – pleaded not guilty in a New York City court on charges related to the “LulzSec” ring. Hammond is one of five Americans charged in the case.
That alleged international criminal network began to be dismantled by investigators within months of Texas journalist Barrett Brown emerged as a public spokesman for “Anonymous.” Last month, Brown’s apartment was raided by the FBI.
Brown has not been charged with any crime, and many supporters of the “Anonymous” hacker network have expressed suspicion that Brown has been cooperating with law enforcement officials. Court documents in the “LulzSec” case indicate that prosecutors are relying on information obtained from unindicted co-conspirators.
The accused hackers were known by several online aliases, as Mathew J. Schwartz of Information Week reported May 15:
The federal indictment also charged four other men — Ryan Ackroyd (a.k.a. kayla, lol, lolspoon), Jake Davis (a.k.a. topiary, atopiary), Darren Martyn (a.k.a. pwnsauce, raepsauce, networkkitten), and Donncha O’Cearrbhail (a.k.a. Palladium) with having participated in hacking attacks against InfraGard Atlanta, the Fox Broadcasting Company’s X-Factor participant database, Sony Pictures Entertainment, HBGary Federal, and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), among other sites.
The HBGary element of the “Anonymous” probe may be yielding new indictments soon. One possible suspect in the case is said to have begun fearing that he is currently under FBI surveillance, a person familiar with the case told me Thursday.
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