DOCUMENT: Internet, Crime

The Hackers Who Tried To Sink The Lulz Boat

"Team Poison" duo at center of FBI hunt for outlaws

JULY 1--As the FBI methodically pursues members of Lulz Security, two fellow hackers have emerged as central figures in the ongoing federal manhunt.

Michael Major, a 22-year-old Maryland man, has taken credit for exposing the identities of LulzSec figures and leaking chat room transcripts showing group members discussing criminal operations.

Known online as “Hann,” Major did this in conjunction with Marshal Webb, 18, whose Hamilton, Ohio home was raided this week by FBI agents as part of the LulzSec investigation. Webb, who was 16 when he graduated in May 2009 as his high school’s valedictorian, reportedly directly entered Miami University as a sophomore.

Major, whose identity was revealed by LulzSec members in retaliation for his activities against his fellow hackers, told TSG that he has “been known to work on both sides of the fence” when it comes to “black hat” and “white hat” hacking. He added that, unlike Webb (pictured below), whom he termed a “cybercriminal,” he has not been contacted by FBI agents. “The law doesn’t want to talk to me and I don’t want to talk to them,” said Major.

While maintaining that he--and his hacking group “Team Poison”--had not engaged in any illegal conduct, Major does have some familiarity with the legal system.

Last month, a District Court judge in Baltimore County issued a pair of restraining orders against Major barring him from contacting two sisters who accused him of “ceaselessly” threatening them in text messages and telephone calls.

According to court filings, the dispute between Major and Rachel and Casey Allen stemmed from the women’s possession of a pair of camping chairs owned by Major, who warned that the women would face “problems” if they did not return the items to him.

On June 1, the women alleged, Major showed up at their home in Halethorpe--the community in which Major also resides--around midnight to retrieve the chairs. Rachel Allen, 23, reported that she spotted him “in a ski mask crouched down at our curb.” Casey Allen, 21, said the 5’ 9” Major was “wearing a ski mask, hoodie and was carrying a baseball bat & other metal object.” She added, “Very scary.”

Major, the women charged, continued to threaten them after taking possession of the chairs, which cost $20. Casey Allen, who said she briefly dated Major when they were 17, alleged that he sent her text messages threatening to “have another female hurt me.” Rachel Allen said that Major kept contacting her and her sibling, “calling us bitches and saying we would get what was coming to us.”

The “peace orders” issued against Major are in effect for the next six months, and bar him from contacting, threatening, or going near the residence of the Allen sisters. Major, a 2007 high school graduate who resides with his parents, lives less than a mile from the Allens.

Denying that he threatened the women, Major called the sisters “just a bunch of jealous bitches that wish I was still with them.” He added that the duo's court filings were “actually a bad attempt at getting me in trouble.”

Criminal records show that Major was arrested in May 2009 for stealing a $29 pair of shoes and a $10 set of gel insoles from Walmart. A subsequent search turned up a bag of marijuana in a pants pocket. Store security spotted Major taking the Treadsafe shoes off a shelf and placing them on his feet. He was collared after walking out of the store.

Major subsequently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft count, while prosecutors declined to pursue the pot charge. At the time, Major told court officials that he was unemployed, and listed his occupation as “self employed cutting grass.” (6 pages)