A powerful hacker group that has blazed a path of destruction on the internet over the past two months has announced it is dissolving as a unit.
Lulz Security made its announcement Saturday through its Twitter account. In an unusual strategy for a hacker group, Lulz has used the account as a publicity platform while remaining anonymous.
The group's disbandment comes unexpectedly, and could be a sign of nerves in the face of law enforcement investigations. One of the group's six members was interviewed by The Associated Press on Friday, and gave no indication that its work was ending.
In its posting on Saturday, the group said its plan all along was to operate for 50 days to revive the Anti-Sec movement, which is against the computer security industry.
Lulz — internet speak for "laughs" — claims it hacked the sites the CIA, FBI partner organizations, the US Senate and Sony.
Lulz also released a massive dump of documents and log-in information, saying it was siphoned from gaming websites and corporate servers. Some appeared to be internal documents from AT&T Inc, detailing its plans for a new wireless broadband which is set to go live this summer in the U.S.
Security experts believe Lulz is a spawn of Anonymous, a larger group that targets oppressive governments and opponents of the document-distribution site WikiLeaks.
The disbanding comes only days after the arrest in Britain of what police believe is one of the world's most successful hackers.
Ryan Cleary, 19, was arrested Tuesday at his home in southeast England as part of a bigger probe into Lulz Security, which has denied that Cleary was part of its team but admitted that it used his servers.
He appeared at a London court on Saturday charged with offences including breaking into the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the British equivalent of the FBI.
Cleary did not enter any plea to the five offences he is charged with.