A 16-year-old Oxford student has been charged with being one of the leaders of the Lapsus$ cyber-crime organization.
Rival hackers and researchers have identified the youngster, who is said to have accumulated a $14 million (£10.6 million) fortune through hacking.
Police in the City of London claim they’ve detained seven teens in connection with the group, but they won’t reveal if he’s one of them.
The boy’s father told reporters that his family was worried about him and that they were attempting to keep him away from his computers.
The adolescent, who has autism, is supposed to be behind the prolific Lapsus$ hacking squad, which is said to be headquartered in South America, under the internet alias “White” or “Breachbase.”
After successfully accessing large corporations like Microsoft and flaunting about it online, Lapsus$ has become one of the most talked about and feared hacker cyber-crime organizations.
The adolescent, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, attends an Oxford special education school.
Police in the City of London stated: “In conjunction with an investigation into a hacking organization, seven persons between the ages of 16 and 21 have been detained. They’ve all been freed pending the outcome of the inquiry. Our investigations are still underway.”
Because of its high-profile targets and active presence on the messaging app Telegram, the Lapsus$ cyber-extortion organization has garnered prominence in a short period of time. It now has 47,000 subscribers on its YouTube account.
The group’s most recent message was put on the channel on Wednesday, with the following statement: “A couple of our members are on leave till March 30, 2022. We may be deafeningly quiet at times. Thank you for your patience; we will strive to disclose information as soon as possible.”
Lapsus$ has increased in popularity in recent months, according to Chris Morgan of cyber-security firm Digital Shadows, “after targeting multiple corporate technology firms, compromising considerable quantities of data, and posting on their dedicated Telegram data leak channel.”
“Little is known about the group’s origins, but given that Lapsus$’s first activity was focused at many Brazilian organizations, some experts have assumed that the group is located in South America,” Mr Morgan added.
Microsoft stated in a blog post on Wednesday that Lapsus$ had acquired limited access to its system.
Okta, a security firm, said that it, too, had been hacked by the organization, with ramifications for hundreds of its customers.