London Metropolitan Police appear to be making solid progress finding and arresting the elusive leaders of the former hacktivist group LulzSec. Four more men were arrested and released on bail Thursday, two of them in connection to hacking offenses committed by the known LulzSec member "Kayla." This caught the hacker community somewhat by surprise, as Kayla always identified herself as a 16-year-old girl. It turns out that Kayla's bubbly online persona might have actually be the efforts of two 20-year-old and 24-year-old guys.
Kayla's activity with LulzSec and Anonymous dates back to the infamous HBGary attack. In a profile written by Forbes' Parmy Olson, she claims to have played a key role in the hack and also shared some details about her paranoid lifestyle:
With just half a dozen close friends online, she has a strict regimen to remain invisible on the web. Each night she wipes every one of her web accounts and deletes every email in her inbox. She has no physical hard drive and boots her computer from a microSD card. "I could hide this card anywhere or chew into a million pieces in a few seconds," she says by e-mail. She keeps her operating system on a USB stick and uses a virtual machine (VM) to carry out her online shenanigans.
So paranoid is Kayla of being caught or hacked by others, that despite several requests she would not speak to me on Skype to verify an adolescent-sounding voice. Our only evidence: others in Anonymous vouch for her age, her emails are punctuated with smiley faces and "lols" and she is relatively well-known on hacking forums.
Of course, we don't know if any of what she told Olson is true, but with all four men due to appear on bail in count on September 7, we might learn more about what really goes on within Anonymous.