A hacker purported to have been involved in the December 2011 cyberattacks on private intelligence firm Stratfor was arrested late Monday evening in Chicago. The hacker was one of six members of hacktivist group Anonymous charged with “computer hacking and other crimes,” the FBI said Tuesday.
Chicago native Jeremy Hammond — a member of Anonymous splinter-group Antisec — was arrested by the FBI late Monday evening as part of a greater sting on the leadership of Anonymous, a group once thought to be leaderless.
Hammond and several of his co-conspirators were implicated in being involved in the December 2011 attack on private intelligence firm Stratfor. The international sting comes one week after the publication of Stafor’s private email correspondence — which was obtained through the cyberattack — by WikiLeaks and its various international media partners.
Hammond (“Anarchaos”), a 27 year old from Chicago, Ill. was the only other American charged in the case. New York native Hector Xavier Monsegur (“Sabu”) — a 28-year-old alleged kingpin of the group — plead guilty in August 2011 to the charges he faced and cooperated with federal officials in exchange for leniency. Monsegur is an unemployed father of two.
“It was because of his kids,” one of the agents who had first encountered Monsegur face-to-face told Fox. “He’d do anything for his kids. He didn’t want to go away to prison and leave them. That’s how we got him.”
Monsegur faces a maximum of 124 years and six months in prison, according to an official FBI statement.
In addition to the Americans charged Tuesday, several of the members — all of whom identified themselves as members of Anonymous, Internet Feds and/or LulzSec — were from the U.K. and Ireland. Ryan Ackroyd (“Kayla”), Jake Davis (“Topiary”), Darren Martyn (“Pwnsauce”) and Donncha O’Cearrbhail (“Palladium”) were charged.
UPDATE: Stratfor told The Daily Caller in an official statement that it “applauds the hard work of the law enforcement organizations involved in the investigation. As the matter now moves through the judicial system, we will stay focused on working to recover from the episode.”