Irish student ‘frightened’ by FBI probe

A Galway student accused by the FBI of being a founding member of an international hacking splinter group has said he is “frightened” by the prospect of the unfolding investigation.

Darren Martyn, who describes himself as a reformed hacker, said he “knew it would come out eventually” and taking part in the illegal hacking was the “probably the most stupid thing you could do”.

Mr Martyn, described by the FBI as aged 25, posted a number of messages online last night where he explained he had turned his back on hacking last year, prior to his arrest in relation to the infiltration of the Fine Gael website.

But he said information was now in the hands of the FBI, he had been waiting for months to hear from investigators and he was “bloody frightened”.

In one post on boards.ie, the Oranmore student said he had already sought to make amends for his earlier activities.

“I had gone kinda whitehat [legal] just a small bit before my arrest, and since my arrest have worked to try ‘rehabilitate’ myself by contributing as much as I can to the open source/security community while I remain at liberty to do so,” he said.

Mr Martyn has been charged in an American district court of being among the leading members of LulzSec.

But he had not been arrested as of last night.

The FBI indictment linked him to online break-ins to the Fine Gael website, the Fox broadcasting network and Sony.

The FBI built its case against him based on the evidence of Hector Xavier Monsegur, who has already pleaded guilty to 12 counts of computer hacking. He is looking for a reduced sentence in relation to these crimes.

Mr Monsegur’s testimony pulled in Mr Martyn and five other suspects, Jake Davis, Ryan Ackroyd, Jeremy Hammond and Irishman Donncha O’Cearrbhail.

In Dec 2010, Mr Monsegur and other members of the Anonymous organisation took responsibility for the online effort to bring down the Visa, Mastercard and Paypal networks.

Following the publicity generated by the hack of the Fine Gael website in 2011, the FBI investigators believe Mr Monsegur, along with Mr Martyn, Mr Ackroyd and Mr Davis, formed a breakaway organisation from Anonymous.

This was called LulzSec and went on to infiltrate the sites of the PBS television network and the electronics giant Sony.


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