The LulzSec hacker-turned-informant known as Sabu avoided any more jail time and was sentenced to time served on Tuesday for his part in leading several of the group’s attacks on high-profile targets. Hector Monsegur walked out of court in New York a free man, thanks to his cooperation with the FBI in identifying and tracking down many other members of the group and helping the agency prevent further attacks.
Monsegur was a prominent member of LulzSec hacktivist groups, and authorities accused him of being involved in a number of the group’s operations, including attacks against PayPal and other companies. When he was arrested by the FBI in 2011, Monsegur began cooperating and supplying information to the agency about the activities of other Anonymous members. He became a polarizing figure in the hacktivist community, with many reviling him for working with law enforcement.
Monsegur pleaded guilty to a number of felonies several months after his initial arrest. He was accused of participating in attacks against many high-profile organizations, including HBGary, Fox Television, the Tribune Company and the United States Senate. By the time of his plea, he had been cooperating with the FBI for some time. The agency has credited him with helping to prevent approximately 300 attacks against various targets, including NASA, and the information Monsegur provided helped lead to the arrest of other alleged hackers, including Ryan Cleary and Jeremy Hammond.
Before the sentencing on Tuesday, prosecutors filed documents detailing Monsegur’s crimes and his cooperation with the FBI on other investigations.
“Monsegur acknowledged his criminal conduct from the time he was first approached by agents, before he was charged in this case. Monsegur admitted both to prior criminal conduct about which the Government had not developed evidence, as well as his role in both Internet Feds and LulzSec. Monsegur subsequently and timely provided crucial, detailed information regarding computer intrusions committed by these groups, including how the attacks occurred, which members were involved, and how the computer systems were exploited once breached,” the filing says.
As set forth below, Monsegur’s consistent and corroborated historical information, coupled with his substantial proactive cooperation and other evidence developed in the case, contributed directly to the identification, prosecution and conviction of eight of his major co-conspirators, including Hammond, who at the time of his arrest was the FBI’s number one cybercriminal target in the world. On top of that, Monsegur engaged in additional, substantial proactive cooperation that enabled the FBI to prevent a substantial number of planned cyber attacks, as set forth below.”
Prosecutors asked the judge to grant Monsegur lenience in his sentence, but didn’t make a specific recommendation in terms of a jail sentence. Monsegur won’t spend any more time in jail, but will be under court-supervised release for one year.
Image from Flickr photos of Nahlinse.