LulzSec hacker 'Sabu' praised by FBI for helping stop more than 300 cyber attacks

The former leader of the elite Anonymous off-shoot was arrested in 2011

A notorious former member of hacking group Anonymous has been praised by US prosecutors for providing “extremely valuable” assistance to the FBI and thwarting cyber attacks planned by his former associates.

According to court documents Hector Xavier Monsegur, otherwise known as ‘Sabu’, helped law enforcement stop more than 300 separate attacks since his arrest for computer hacking in June 2011.

Mr Monsegur is set to be sentenced today for his involvement in a number of major cyber attacks in the year of his arrest, with prosecutors recommending that he receive a reduced sentence.

In May 2011 Mr Monsegur and five other members of the loosely-defined Anonymous movement formed what court documents describe as “an elite hack collective or ‘crew’ commonly referred to as LulzSec”.

Each of the group’s members had specialized and complementary skills with Mr Monsegur acting primarily as an analyst, exploring the code maintained by LulzSec’s targets in order to find any vulnerabilities.

In 2011 the group struck a number of high-profile targets including Fox, Sony, Nintendo and Senate.gov, receiving extensive media attention for the light-hearted statements they published following these attacks and their apparent refusal to hack for financial profit. Mr Monsegur had previously stolen credit card information to pay his rent and other bills.

LulzSec's mascot and logo, often seen accompanied by their motto "Laughing at your security since 2011".

A report on the group’s activities from The Independent in 2011 noted that “like Anonymous, LulzSecurity falls squarely into the grey camp. The group claims to be exposing security vulnerabilities in websites and organisations purely for "fun". But their willingness to dump the stolen data and details they uncover online pushes them towards the black hats.”

Mr Monsegnur was arrested in in June 2011 and reportedly agreed to cooperate with law enforcement immediately. He offered the FBI “information about then-ongoing computer hacks and vulnerabilities in significant computer systems” and "convinced LulzSec members to provide him digital evidence of the hacking activities”.

Court papers detail how “working sometimes literally around the clock,” Mr Monsegur “engaged his co-conspirators in online chats that were critical to confirming their identities and whereabouts,” asking “seemingly innocuous questions that […] could be used to pinpoint their exact locations and identities.”

Mr Monsegnur was also instrumental in 2012 arrest of the hacker Jeremy Hammond, described by the agency as the “number cybercriminal target at the time of his arrest”. Mr Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison in November 2013 for hacking US intelligence company Strafor and helping leak internal emails to WikiLeaks.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Ashdown Group: European Recruitment Manager - Cheshire - up to £48,000

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence