Hacker roundup: Arrests are shrinking LulzSec, Anonymous membership

With multiple arrests worldwide this year of LulzSec and Anonymous members, the number of at-large hackers in both hackers groups is rapidly dwindling. LulzSec’s non-fingerprinted membership, in fact, could be down to two.

According to a recent tweet by LulzSec/Anonymous leader Sabu, only he and one other member of LulzSec have not been arrested.

Last week, the FBI arrested alleged LulzSec member Cody Kretsinger and alleged People’s Liberation Front members Christopher Doyon and Joshua Covelli. Both groups are associated with the hacking group Anonymous.

Related coverage:

What is Anonymous? It is not pro-privacy

LulzSec: Not Robin Hood, more like Bonnie and Clyde

The FBI’s Los Angeles division arrested Kretsinger, 23, of Phoenix, Ariz., allegedly known as “Recursion,” for hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s system in June. Kretsinger was charged with conspiracy and the unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.

Kretsinger and others are accused of using an SQL injection attack to obtain confidential information via Sony’s website and distributing the stolen information on LulzSec’s website, as well as announcing the attack on Twitter. Additionally, Kretsinger used the U.K.-based virtual private network proxy service HideMyAss.com to disguise his IP address when connecting to the Sony Pictures site and permanently erased the hard drive of the computer he used to conduct the attack. The extent of the Sony breach is still under investigation.

In a separate indictment, Christopher Doyon, 47, of Mountain View, Calif., and Joshua Covelli, 26, of Fairborn, Ohio, were charged with conspiracy to cause intentional damage to a protected computer, causing intentional damage to a protected computer and aiding and abetting, reported Fox News.

Doyon and Covelli are charged with using their computers to launch a distributed denial-of-service attack in December 2010 on Santa Cruz County, Calif.'s servers, causing them to briefly go down.

Doyon, allegedly “Commander X,” pleaded not guilty, CNET reported. Doyon is homeless and has been living on the streets in Mountain View for the past few months after living on the streets in Berkeley, Calif., said his lawyer, Jay Leiderman, to CNET. Doyon is being tried in the U.S. District Court of San Jose, Calif.

Fox News also reported that search warrants were being executed in New Jersey, Minnesota and Montana. And the U.K.-based Guardian reported that another LulzSec member, known as “Neuron,” may also be facing arrest if the British government can trace him via his usage of HideMyAss.

Kretsinger was found with the help of the VPN proxy service, which turned its logs over to the police. In a lengthy blog on the subject, HideMyAss said: “As stated in our terms of service and privacy policy our service is not to be used for illegal activity, and as a legitimate company we will cooperate with law enforcement if we receive a court order. .. It is very naive to think that by paying a subscription fee to a VPN service you are free to break the law without any consequences.”

The blog went on to say that, as a U.K. based company, it complies only with U.K. law, and would comply with requests only if they are delivered through U.K. legal channels.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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Reader Comments

Wed, Nov 16, 2011

There is a group that is currently under investigation in Phoenix, Az. The FBI and ICC are doing stellar work, unfortunately too many of these hackers go unnoticed unless they hit a big company. Well expect all of that to change as the tables are being turned in an effort to nab small time crooks that target home computers for their fraudulent schemes. I have been attacked time and time again and myself and a handful of friends have started a counter hacking group to aid in the apprehension of these thieves. Understanding your computer and reporting any malicious behavoir goes along way in fighting cyber crime.

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 Dave K

Pseu An, those items weren't on the black market... the FBI sold them to him before they arrested him!

Thu, Sep 29, 2011 Pseu An www

Nameles One- Good clean fun? Did you hear about a REAL BAD GUY the FBI snagged yesterday? That was an effort deserving of tax dollars these days. BTW auto ARs, drones, hand grenades & C4-how do these things even get on the black market? Not for "good clean fun" I bet.

Thu, Sep 29, 2011 padraig

They're lucky they are just hacking into local government and private industry computers and not DoD computers, they would get much worse than the figurative hand slap they are getting now. But then again, you wouldn't be hearing about their arrests either.

Wed, Sep 28, 2011

Pseu - what does it take to exceed good clean fun in your anarchist little mind; explosions? Good thing FBI isn't run by public opinion like a lot of other very powerful governmental functions!

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