US seeks leniency for 'Sabu,' Lulzsec leader-turned-snitch

Prosecutors contend the seven months time he has served is enough for Hector Xavier Monsegur

U.S. prosecutors say a hacking group's mastermind should be spared a long prison sentence due to his quick and fruitful cooperation with law enforcement.

The man, Hector Xavier Monsegur of New York, is accused of leading a gang of international miscreants calling themselves "Lulzsec," short for Lulz Security, on a noisy hacking spree in 2011, striking companies such as HBGary, Fox Entertainment and Sony Pictures.

Lulzsec, an offshoot of Anonymous, led a high-profile campaign that taunted law enforcement, released stolen data publicly and bragged of their exploits on Twitter. Their campaign touched off a worldwide law enforcement action that resulted in more than a dozen arrests.

Monsegur, known as "Sabu," was secretly arrested by the FBI around June 2011. He pleaded guilty in August that year to a 12-count indictment outlining various fraud and hacking charges. He agreed to work with investigators, which resulted in several more arrests.

In a filing on Friday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wrote that Monsegur should only be sentenced to the seven months he has already served. He could face between 21 and 26 years in prison.

"Monsegur was an extremely valuable and productive cooperator," Bharara wrote.

After FBI agents went to Monsegur's home around June 7, 2011, he allegedly admitted to criminal conduct and immediately agreed to cooperate with law enforcement, according to the filing.

"That night, Monsegur reviewed his computer files with FBI agents and provided actionable information to law enforcement," it said.

In May 2012, Monsegur got in trouble after making "unauthorized online postings," and his bail was revoked. But he was released on a revised bail package in December 2012 and has remained free since, the filing said.

Monsegur's cooperation lead to the arrest of Jeremy Hammond, who at one time was the number one cybercriminal target. Hammond, of Chicago, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in November 2013 after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in computer hacking. He also agreed to pay US$2.5 million in restitution.

Hammond admitted to participating in more than a half dozen attacks perpetrated in 2010 and 2011 by Anonymous and affiliated groups, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. All told, information supplied by Monsegur led to the arrest of seven other major figures, the filing said.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimelegalU.S. Department of JusticeCriminal

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?