Australian police yesterday charged a 24-year-old man who claims to be the leader if the hacking group LulzSec for allegedly defacing a government Web site earlier this month.
The man, who was only named by his online handle “AushOK”, was charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP)with two counts of unauthorized modification of data and one count of unauthorized access. The suspect could face up to 12 years in prison, according to a police statement.
The man, who is from Point Clare about 50 miles north of Sydney, is scheduled to appear in court May 15. He is an IT professional employed in the technology industry, according to the police. The AFP said their investigation into his activities began earlier this month when police’s Cyber Crime Operations investigators “found a compromise to a government Web site.”
LulzSec leader’s digital trail followed by rival hackers: FBI
Hacker rampage tied to Anonymous
Anonymous looks down at Wikileaks
“Police will allege the man was in a position of trust within the company, with access to sensitive information from clients including government agencies,” the AFP said. The police statement did not name the company that the suspect worked for and what government site was targeted.
“Those thinking of engaging in such activities should be warned that hacking, creating or propagating malicious viruses or participating in Distributed Denial of Services attacks are not harmless fun,” said Cmdr. Glen McEwan, of the AFP Cyber Crime Operations.
Much like the Anonymous group, LulzSec became notorious in 2010 when they launched cyber- attacks on various Web sites in retaliation for the shutdown of the online activist site Wikileaks .
AushOK’s arrest follows the sentencing last week in Los Angeles of Cody Kretsinger, another LulzSec member. Kretsinger, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with authorities. He received a one year prison term and home detention.