- Man faces 12 years in prison for allegedly hacking government website
- Police say he worked for IT company that did business with government agencies
- LulzSec has claimed several major hacking attacks, including one against the CIA
The leader of the hacking group LulzSec has been charged in connection with an attack on a government website in early April, Australian police officials said Wednesday.
In a news release posted on their website, the Australian Federal Police said the man was a 24-year-old Internet technology professional from Point Clare, a suburb on the New South Wales coast, about 75 kilometers (46 miles) north of Sydney.
He is charged with two counts of unauthorized modification of data and one count of unauthorized access to (or modification of) restricted data.
The man faces up to 10 years for the first two charges and up to two years on the third charge.
Police didn't release the man's name, but said he worked for a company that did work for government agencies. The release called him the "self-proclaimed leader" of the hacking group.
"The AFP believes the man's knowledge and skills presented a significant risk to the clients of the company for which he was employed had he continued his illegal online activities," the release stated.
On June 2, 2011, LulzSec burst onto the cybersecurity scene with a splashy exploit: It published a trove of data stolen from 1 million user accounts on Sony's website. It followed the Sony hack with a string of high-profile feats, including crashing the CIA's website.
The man posted bail and is next due in court May 15.