Four principal members of Anonymous and LulzSec have been charged with computer hacking, while two others have pleaded guilty to charges.
According to an FBI statement, the four have been charged in connection with the hacking of Fox Broadcasting Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Charges have also been made over the attacks on Fine Gael, a political party in Ireland, and on security firms HBGary and its affiliate HBGary Federal, and Stratfor.
Those charged have been named as Ryan Ackroyd (aka 'Kayla', 'Lolspoon'), Jake Davis (aka 'Topiary'), Darren Martyn (aka 'pwnsauce', 'raepsauce', 'networkkitten') and Donncha O'Cearrbhail (aka 'palladium'). O'Cearrbhail was also charged in a separate criminal complaint with intentionally disclosing an unlawfully intercepted wire communication.
A fifth member was named as Jeremy Hammond (aka 'Anarchaos', 'sup_g', 'burn', 'yohoho', 'POW', 'tylerknowsthis', 'crediblethreat'); he was charged with crimes relating to the December 2011 hack of Stratfor.
The sixth member was named as Hector Xavier Monsegur (aka 'Sabu', 'Xavier DeLeon', 'Leon'). However, the statement claimed that he pleaded guilty on 15 August in a US District Court to 12 counts of computer hacking conspiracies and other crimes, information that was unsealed today.
He had plead guilty to three counts of computer hacking conspiracy, five counts of computer hacking, one count of computer hacking in furtherance of fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum sentence of 124 years and six months in prison.
Jake Davis was arrested last year in the Shetland Islands on a charge of unauthorised computer access and conspiracy to carry out a distributed denial of service attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency's (SOCA) website.
O'Cearrbhail was named as one of the two men arrested in connection with hacking of Fine Gael and was the son of Offaly County councillor John Carroll. He was later revealed to have been released without charge, along with another man.
A report by Fox News claimed that the arrests were largely made based on evidence gathered by Monsegur, with sources saying he has been secretly working for the US government for months. It claimed that working under the internet alias 'Sabu' and tweeting to more than 45,000 followers at Anonymousabu, the FBI unmasked him last June and he became a co-operating witness while commanding "a loosely organised, international team of perhaps thousands of hackers from his nerve centre in a public housing project on New York's Lower East Side".
“They caught him and he was secretly arrested and now works for the FBI,” a source close to Sabu told FoxNews.com.