‘Leader’ of LulzSec hacking group arrested in Australia
A self-proclaimed leader of the international hacking group known LulzSec – known for cyber-attacks on the CIA and the NHS – has been arrested in Australia.
The 24-year-old IT worker was arrested in Sydney after he was linked to a recent cyber-attack against an Australian government agency.
The Australian Federal Police said the man was described as a leader on LulzSec chat sites and made no attempt to deny it. His online name was “OzShock”.
The hacking group – whose name derives from the term “laugh out loud” and “security” – is an offshoot of the well-known hacking group Anonymous and has been tied to attacks on the CIA, Sony Pictures, The Sun newspaper, the NHS and Nintendo. The group has also allegedly broken into Australian government and university sites.
“This person known by the online identity OzShock had gained unauthorised access and caused data impairment to a government agency this month,” said Commander Glen McEwan, from the AFP.
“This man is known to international law enforcement and police will allege he was in a position of trust within the company with access to information from clients including government agencies. This man’s skill sets and access to this kind of information presented a considerable risk to Australian society.” The man, from Gosford, north of Sydney, was charged with hacking and data modification offences and faces a maximum of 12 years in jail.
Police said the hacker used his laptop to attack a government website and created a “back door” which allowed him to remotely access the site.
Last year, an alleged leader of the group, Hector Monsegur, also known as Sabu, was reportedly found to be an FBI informant. The FBI arrested four people in New York and Chicago and said it was “chopping off the head of LulzSec”, though its alleged leader was later said to be at large.
Three British hackers pleaded guilty in April to a LulzSec attack on the NHS and News International, while another Briton linked to the group, Ryan Cleary, pleaded guilty in 2012 to attacks on the CIA and the Pentagon.