Australian authorities claim they have arrested the self-proclaimed leader of the hacking group LulzSec. The unnamed individual was charged with two counts of unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment and one count of unauthorized access to, or modification of, restricted data. Combined, the offenses carry a maximum sentence of 22 years behind bars.
Law enforcement officials say the 24-year-old from New South Wales, believed to be the person using the online handle “Aush0K”, held a prominent position at an international IT company which explains how he might have been able to obtain sensitive material. Specifically, they believe he may have had hidden, remote access to select government websites.
Other news outlets have pegged the suspect as Matthew Flannery, who was allegedly fired by Content Security on Tuesday following his arrest. In a message on the matter, Content Security told the Sydney Morning Herald that Flannery did not and does not have access to any customer information that was or could have been used to carry out malicious activity.
This isn’t the first time that LulzSec members have faced legal trouble. A California judge recently sentenced LulzSec member Cody Kretsinger, who went by the online name “Recursion,” to a year in prison while three other members pleaded guilty to similar crimes earlier this month in a London courtroom.
Flannery is scheduled to appear in court on May 15, we’re told. For what it’s worth, Anonymous members in Australia claim the feds have the wrong guy.