Donncha O’Cearbhail Photo by: Facebook

Irish police release Trinity College student in FBI hacker probe


Donncha O’Cearbhail Photo by: Facebook

A suspected student hacker from Offaly arrested over a cyber plot by Anonymous and LulzSec, has been released without charge.

The son of an Irish politician, Donncha O’Cearrbhail  (19), who uses the online alias palladium was detained in Dublin on Tuesday after his name appeared on a New York court charge sheet. He is suspected of being a member of Anonymous and LulzSec.

Anonymous is an online group of "hacktivists" from around the world who commit hacking attacks in support of various causes. LulzSec, short for Lulz Security is a similar small offshoot of Anonymous, who engaged in a numerous attacks during 2011.

The Trinity College student is being accused of tapping into a conference call which the FBI had with Irish police and other international agencies during an investigation into an international hacking ring last January.

He is also suspected of hacking into a police officer’s personal email and collecting details on the January conference call before secretly recording the conversation and sending it onto others.

He has been charged with a computer hacking conspiracy, which carries a maximum prison sentence of ten years. The teenager is also being charged with one count of intentionally disclosing an unlawfully intercepted wire communication, this offence carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

On Wednesday, a police spokesman confirmed the young man had been released from custody and a file was being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
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A second Irish student, 25-year-old Darren Martyn from Galway, was also named on the charge sheet issued by the US Attorney’s office. Martyn, who uses the hacker name pwnsause, has not been arrested.

In their absence, the two Irish men were charged with computer hacking offences at a federal court in New York.


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