The Australian Federal Police apprehended a 24-year-old man who claims to be the leader of the global hackers group Lulz Security on Monday. An investigation into a hacked government website led authorities to the unnamed Point Clare man, a senior IT professional with the Australian division of an international IT company.
According to AFP Commander Glen McEwen, the suspect had visited online forums frequented by LulzSec members stating that he was the leader. The man was “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,” he said.
The hacker group claimed credit for a wide range of attacks on the CIA, the U.S. Senate, and the FBI, as well as international companies like Sony, financial corporations like VISA, and various other Australian government and private targets. Then in 2011, the group suddenly announced that it quit. But that didn’t prevent the FBI from arresting several members of LulzSec and Anonymous in March 2012, after former Anonymous leader “Sabu,” Hector Xavier Monsegur, turned them in.
Two weeks ago, three other LulzSec members plead guilty in a British court for conducting cyber-attacks on the U.K. National Health Service and other companies.
As for the Australian suspect, he has been charged with two counts of unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment and one count of unauthorized access to a restricted computer system. If convicted, he could face up to 12 years in prison.