LulzSec mastermind arrested, but security experts warn this is no time to let down your guard for this type of threat.
Remember back last summer when LulzSec leader "Sabu" suddenly dropped off the grid after the arrest of several members of the Anonymous splinter group? Speculation at the time centered around whether he, too, had been swept up in the arrests. Turns out he indeed was nabbed by the feds, ultimately pleading guilty to hacking charges in August 2011 and serving as an informant on his fellow LulzSec members, according to information released Tuesday by the FBI.
Sabu, 28, who was identified by the FBI as Hector Xavier Monsegur, a.k.a. Sabu, Xavier DeLeon, and Leon, pled guilty to 12 counts of computing hacking conspiracies and other crimes, including the infamous hacks of HBGary Federal, HBGary, Sony, Fox, and PBS. An indictment filed with the Southern District of New York and released Tuesday identifies Monsegur as a so-called "rooter," or hacker, who finds vulnerabilities in victims' systems in order to hack them. The indictment said that from around December 2010 until June 7, 2011, he both exploited them himself or passed them to others to do the same. In addition, he provided "infrastructure" to other hackers for launching attacks on victim networks--and also allegedly performed financial fraud.
The other members of the loosely affiliated hacking group named in the FBI charges were Ryan Ackroyd, aka Kayla, lool, and lolspoon; Jake Davis, aka Topiary and Atopiary; Darren Martyn, aka pwnsauce, raepsauce, and networkkitten; and Donncha O'Cearrbhail, aka Palladium. Palladium appears to allegedly have been behind the leaked law enforcement conference call earlier this year that was intercepted by Anonymous, and was also charged in a separate complaint with "intentionally disclosing an unlawfully intercepted wire communication," according to the FBI. Ackroyd and Davis were arrested last year.
Kroyd/Kayla, Davis/Topiary, Martyn/Pwnsauce, and O'Cearrbhail were all charged with hacking conspiracy in the Fox, Sony, and PBS breaches. Hammond/Anarchaos was charged with hacking crimes related to the Stratfor breach.
According to one source with information on the FBI investigation, Sabu is just one informant the FBI has secured inside the LulzSec/Anonymous collective. There will be more arrests as a result of members flipping on the group, the source said.
Perhaps most intriguing and significant about Tuesday's developments is that it took LulzSec's leader turning into an FBI informant to do the most significant damage to the hacking confab yet. While the arrests won't end Anonymous or the type of hacking LulzSec perpetrated--some experts are anticipating retaliatory hacks soon--it did make the first real dent on the group responsible for "doxing" and encouraging the distributed denial-of-service attacks against some major corporations and federal agencies, including law enforcement and the CIA.
Security professionals often view compliance as a burden, but it doesn't have to be that way. In this report, we show the security team how to partner with the compliance pros. Download the report here. (Free registration required.)
New Best Practices for Secure App DevelopmentThe transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Published: 2015-10-15 The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...
Published: 2015-10-15 Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.
Published: 2015-10-15 Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.