Monday, April 23, 2012
Hacker "Sabu" worked full nights online for FBI
One late-night visit by the FBI was all it took for the notorious hacker known as "Sabu" to switch sides and become a valued snitch.
Hector Xavier Monsegur cooperated immediately in June, helping investigators close a net around five other leaders of the international hacking group Anonymous, according to court documents made public on Thursday.
Monsegur sometimes stayed up all night, talking with co-conspirators to help the government build its case, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Pastore told a Manhattan federal court judge at a secret hearing days before Monsegur's August 15 guilty plea, the court papers showed.
Monsegur, 28, was arrested at his small apartment in a Manhattan housing complex on June 7, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday in announcing charges against him and five others. The precise time, 10:15 p.m., was revealed in Thursday's court papers.
"Since literally the day he was arrested, the defendant has been cooperating with the government proactively," Pastore told Judge Loretta Preska.
Monsegur was freed on $50,000 bond the day after his arrest. He later pleaded guilty to each of the 12 computer crimes he was charged with in cases brought in four different states. The cases were later consolidated in New York.
Federal prosecutors said Monsegur had confessed in court after signing a cooperation agreement with the government. Details of the deal and any reduction in prison time that he hopes to receive will not be known until the court makes the information public.
Monsegur and the five others were senior members of Lulz Security (LulzSec), an offshoot of Anonymous that took credit for hacking attacks on government and private sector websites, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday. Targets included the CIA, Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency, Japan's Sony Corp and others including in Ireland and Mexico...