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LulzSec says it's stopped hacking, but criminal case against it gains steam

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"These guys better hope that the FBI finds them first, because there are probably a lot of people in organized cybercrime who aren't very happy about what they've been doing – drawing all this attention," says Jeff Bardin, chief security strategist for Treadstone 71, a cybersecurity and intelligence firm based in Boston.

The term "Lulz" is hacker lingo for "laughs." All along, it has claimed that its activities are about "doing it for the laughs" and raising Internet security awareness. Its tag line is, "Laughing at your security since 2011!"

But for others, LulzSec’s activities have been a serious matter. And in the end, the anonymity of the Internet may not have been anonymous enough for the very real people behind its hacker handles. Was Sabu the ringleader? Is Kayla the group's botnet expert? What about Topiary, Storm, Tflow, Joepie91, Avunit, and the others?

Those nicknames appear in chat logs from late May – purportedly conversations from LulzSec's private chat channel that were leaked anonymously to London's Guardian newspaper and posted to its website Friday. Other similar chat logs were leaked in March to the online magazine Gawker.

At about the same time, lists of names associated with the handles began to be tweeted along with a flotsam of corroborating information. Was Sabu living in New York City and Avunit in England? That was implied by one Internet security company report circulating online.

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