Former LulzSec Leader Gets Six Months Of Freedom

Sabu is rewarded for his cooperation with the FBI

Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu”, will receive six months of semi-freedom for his contribution to the demise of the hacker collective LulzSec, before being sentenced on 12 counts of violating federal law.

After being arrested in June 2011, Sabu became an informant for the FBI. His cooperation led to the capture of five fellow LulzSec and AntiSec members, including Jake Davis (Topiary) and Ryan Ackroyd (Kayla) from the UK.

Sabu pleaded guilty to cybercrime charges in March this year.

Pat on the head

LulzSec, a group affiliated with Anonymous, rose to infamy after a string of successful attacks on high-profile targets including Sony, Fox, Stratfor, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, the CIA, the Pentagon, UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and others.

Most hacks were accompanied by tongue-in-cheek press releases on PasteBin and a stream of posts on Twitter, which led the group to obtain Internet celebrity status.

Last year, five senior members of LulzSec were arrested, partly as a result of the group’s leader being “turned” by the FBI. Monsegur, an unemployed Puerto Rican living in New York, could face 124 years in prison should he get the maximum sentence for each of the 12 charges he is facing.

It is thought that he chose to cooperate with the FBI so he could stay with his two children.

Sabu’s new role within the FBI was to gather evidence against other LulzSec members and spread misinformation among his Twitter followers. He also allegedly prevented attacks on government agencies, including the CIA and financial institutions. The hacker-turned-government-agent even helped send suspected LulzSec member Ryan Cleary back to jail in June after the 19 year-old broke the terms of his parole by contacting Monsegur online.

According to Wired, Sabu was supposed to be sentenced on Wednesday, but a US District Attorney requested a six-month adjournment of the sentencing “in light of the defendant’s ongoing cooperation with the government”. Monsegur will now be sentenced on 22 February 2013 instead.

In June, both Cleary and Davis, who are just 19 and 18 respectively, admitted to being part of LulzSec and helping carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the CIA and SOCA. US officials have said they are not planning to request teenagers’ extradition to face hacking charges.

Ackroyd, 25 years old and accused of being LulzSec’s ‘Kayla,’ pleaded not guilty to charges against him and will stand trial on 8 April next year.

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