LulzSec appears to have been taken down from within. According to Fox News and several other sources, a key member of the group – allegedly 28-year-old Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu – was ‘turned’ by the FBI during 2011. Six alleged members of LulzSec have been arrested, and the group looks to have been pretty comprehensively rooted out.
LulzSec is not the same as Anonymous and has in recent months been largely moribund as Anonymous continued its own work. Nevertheless, the successful dismantling of LulzSec – and the manner in which this was achieved – will be seen as a significant victory for the FBI, which had previously risked looking as if it was unable to deal with the growing problem of online ‘hacktivism’. Bringing down Anonymous would undoubtedly be a bigger ‘scalp’, but LulzSec was still a big target.
For many months, LulzSec taunted the authorities, insisting that the group could not be broken. But they have now been broken by one of the oldest tricks in the book, with their nominal leader having been lured into cooperation with the authorities. Anonymous has no such leader, or at least that’s what they say. Nevertheless, the success of the strike against LulzSec shows that such groups remain vulnerable.