Aug 23 2013
The hacker collective Anonymous has not produced as many high-profile cyber attacks as it once did, a drop-off that can be directly attributed to the arrests of the group’s core members, an FBI official told The Huffington Post this week.
Starting in late 2010, Anonymous captured worldwide attention through a series of attacks against U.S. companies and government agencies, stealing data and defacing or crashing websites.
But the arrests last year of five members of Lulz Security, an influential splinter group of hackers, had a “huge deterrent effect” on Anonymous by creating an “added layer of distrust” within the hacking group, according to Austin P. Berglas, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s cyber division in New York.
“All of these guys [arrested] were major players in the Anonymous movement, and a lot of people looked to them just because of what they did,” Berglas said in an interview with HuffPost.
The 2012 arrests relied on the help of a key informant, Hector Monsegur, aka “Sabu,” who was caught and then cooperated with the FBI. The fear that one of their own could turn them in has sowed distrust within the hacking collective, according to Berglas.