With the recent string of arrests targeting senior members, it appears that the LulzSec hacking team, at least as we know it, has been dismantled. Meanwhile the group's affiliated collective, Anonymous, has been dealt a significant blow.
In the aftermath, a number of key questions are raised that are not easily answered.
The private sector will surely be asking how it can trust law enforcement agencies to combat data breaches, when such agencies allowed a number of malicious hackers to operate.
Meanwhile those hackers have to ask whether a lack of association between members in the groups they form actually does their cause more harm than good.
This week has seen authorities arrest several members of both LulzSec and Anoymous believed to have been directly involved in the 2011 spree of high-profile attacks, which targeted HBGary, Sony and Nintendo as well as government agencies and defence contractor Stratfor.
Along with the arrests came the confirmation that LulzSec's top member and senior leader, Hector "Sabu" Monsegur had for months been co-operating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in its effort to gather data on the group and apprehend its members.
While the FBI's move on the hacktivist group was inevitable, the depth with which it was able to penetrate the group and in some cases even direct its activities has been a surprise.
Long before the group was raided by US government agents, the identities of those behind the group and their motives had been surfacing on the web.
Rival hackers "Jester" and "TeamPoison" had posted the names and addresses of Sabu and other LulzSec members as far back as June of 2011.
Commonly referred to as getting "Dox'd", having their identities posted online would have been both embarrassing and dangerous for the criminals. The hacking world relies on the secrecy and anonymity of its members.
While such information had been leaking out for months, LulzSec and Anonymous members surprisingly did not seem to take heed and move further underground.
Perhaps, in this sense, the groups' secrecy worked against them because there were so many unknowns about the groups.
Also, with disinformation rampant, those within Anonymous at large and even within the more tightly organised LulzSec group itself, the participants no doubt had trouble seeing that a key member might have been compromised.
While Sabu's turn was no doubt a shock to those within the ranks of LulzSec and affiliates of Anonymous, an outside observer can in hindsight understand the leverage which turned him.
A single father of two living in a New York housing project, Sabu had much to lose from his arrest and made the decision almost any parent would make under similar circumstances.
If the hacking groups had been closer knit, members may have understood Sabu's situation and noticed something was amiss when he disappeared for several weeks.
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