Anonymous member Higinio O. Ochoa III officially charged

Feds have charged Higinio O. Ochoa III with criminal charges related to a string of attacks on government and law enforcement websites. The Texas man operated under the “CabinCr3w” banner, a known offshoot of Anonymous.

According to documents filed at the US District Court in Austin, Texas Higinio O. Ochoa III is being charged with unauthorized access to a protected computer. Ochoa is a 30 year old Linux administrator who hails from Galveston, Texas. The project he took part in called “Operation Pig Roast,” supposedly access sites belonging to four law enforcement groups. In some situations sensitive information like phone numbers, addresses, and other personal information about police officers was posted online.

According to FBI Special Agent Scott Jensen, Ochoa is also being accused of hacking into the County of Houston’s website in Alabama. Jensen says,

“In addition, the attacker created fake events on their online calendar, posted images representing Anonymous and CabinCr3w, deleted all the administrator accounts except the one created by the attacker. All of this was accomplished by gaining unauthorized administrator access to the site’s control panel.”

Over the weekend Ochoa posted on Pastebin admitting to his involvement with Anonymous and his membership in the CabinCr3w group. Ochoa also detailed discussions he had with Jensen,

“After FBI Agent Scott Jenson [sic] was done explaining how unimpressed he was with both my expressed skills, and information I provided the systems administrator for the texas DPS, he then proceeded to interview me for the exact information concerning the breach of the texas DPS site. (It would seem to me neither the DPS administrator nor the FBI fully understand the ‘complexity’ of SQL injections.)”

So, exactly how did the FBI get enough information to formally file charges again Ochoa? Essentially investigators followed small clues left by the hacking group. Some of the attacks were posted via Twitter user called @Anonw0rmer. Agents then looked online for others using the handle w0rmer and they stumbled across a post signed by “Higino Ochoa AkA w0rmer” [sic]. What’s more the attack on the Texas Department of Public Safety attributed to w0rmer and CabinCr3w was detailed in a post put online by an IP address that belonged to someone in Ochoa’s building.

Court documents show that Ochoa appeared in court on March 21 and was released on $50,000 bail. He will appear in court again on April 10 before Magistrate Courtroom Deputy Annette French. Ochoa claims to be cooperating with officials saying,

“I turned over all accounts in my control and forfieted [sic] any protection I personally may have had to ensure they believed I was cooperating.”

What happens to Ochoa will be interesting to follow once the court case starts in full on April 10.