In a major break for law enforcement, several members of the LulzSec and Anonymous hacking groups were arrested this morning based on information provided by "Sabu," the shadowy LulzSec leader who was secretly arrested last year.
Sabu, LulzSec's main spokesman who was identified today by FoxNews.com as Hector Xavier Monsegur, has been working as an informant for the FBI since his arrest.
Those arrested today included a member of the AntiSec hacking group who is believed responsible for the massive intrusion at security think tank Stratfor last December .
News of the arrests, was first reported by FoxNews.com this morning.
A law enforcement official in New York today confirmed the arrests and said that six hackers belonging to the Anonymous, LulzSec and Antisec groups were nabbed in U.S. and overseas locations.
The official described those arrested as "principal members" of Anonymous and LulzSec.
The U.S. Department of Justice has scheduled a press conference this morning to release further details on the arrest, the official said.
According to FoxNews, the FBI arrested two men from Great Britain, two from Ireland, and one from Chicago.
An indictment listing the charges is expected to be unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, FoxNews said.
FoxNews.com described Monsegur as an unemployed 28-year old father of two who apparently coordinated with thousands of hackers around the world from a room in a public housing project in New York's Lower East Side.
Monsegur, who was arrested by the FBI last year, pleaded guilty to several charges related to his hacking activities and has been a cooperating witness since then, according to Fox.
LulzSec, an offshoot of the Anonymous hacking collective, is believed to be responsible for numerous attacks against government, military and commercial entities. The group is said to be responsibile for a series of attacks last summer for a series of attacks against News International, Booz-Allen Hamilton and other high-profile organizations.
After the FBI arrested several members of Anonymous last July, LulzSec and Anonymous released a joint statement vowing not to let the arrests dampen their hacking attacks and daring law enforcement to catch them.
"We are not scared any more," the joint statement had read. "Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea."
Sabu appears to have been arrested by the FBI shortly after that boast.
News of Sabu's arrest prompted several tweets from Anonymous this morning, including one that threatened retaliation. "The way Sabu & gang took control of Anonops.. anonops gonna retaliate," the tweet said.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan , or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Read more about cybercrime and hacking in Computerworld's Cybercrime and Hacking Topic Center.