LulzSec hacker 'Sabu' Freed From Prison
A New York court agreed to release a well-known hacker who spent only seven months in jail for perpetrating significant attacks against the government and private businesses, in exchange for the key role he played in helping the government catch other cyber criminals and preventing countless attacks.
Hector Xavier Monsegur, went by the name Sabu in his hacking, agreed to work with the FBI when he was first apprehended in 2011. He has served as an informant and aide since then, and was praised today by prosecutors, who wrote that he helped "disrupt or prevent at least 300 hacks" targeting the military, Congress and "several private companies." They added, "Monsegur's actions prevented at least millions of dollars in loss to these victims." Additionally, Sabu "contributed directly to the identification, prosecution and conviction of eight of his major co-conspirators." Included in this figure is Jeremy Hammond, who was Washington's top cyber criminal target when he was arrested in 2012.
Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison last November for his role in the computer breach. What was not discussed during Monsegur’s sentencing on Tuesday was that when he was convicted, Hammond claimed that Monsegur himself had directed much of his criminal activity, including attempts to break into the websites of foreign governments.
Professor Ahmed Ghappour of UC Hastings college of the law, an expert in computer law, said it was one thing to help the FBI in a sting operation on perpetrators of a crime already in motion, another “when you contribute to the creation, inducement and execution of a crime that never was. Particularly when those crimes may very well affect our foreign policy.”
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