Former top LulzSec leader Hector Xavier Monsegur — better known by his pseudonym "Sabu" — will be sentenced in federal court on Tuesday, and the government is looking to reward the hacker for his cooperation with the FBI. US prosecutors are recommending a sentence of "time served" for Monsegur. If the court follows the prosecution's recommendation, Monsegur will see no more time in prison other than the seven months he already served in 2012.
The hacker worked with the FBI to identify and build cases against other LulzSec and Anonymous members, and, according to the government's statement filed in court this week, his information directly led to the arrest and convictions of eight others involved in large-scale illegal attacks on sites like Sony, Nintendo, PBS, Fox, Senate.gov, and more. Among others, his assistance helped the FBI arrest Jeremy Hammond — also known as "Anarchaos" — who was the agency's most wanted cybercriminal at the time of his arrest. He's been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
'Sabu' led to eight other arrests
Monsegur has worked with the FBI since investigators visited his New York apartment in 2011. According to the government's statement filed in court this week, he immediately confessed his involvement with LulzSec as well as a wide range of other cybercriminal activities. The FBI notes that Monsegur returned online "just hours" after being approached by officials to begin serving as an informant.
The document notes that he "subsequently and timely provided crucial, detailed information regarding computer intrusions committed by these groups, including how the attacks occurred, which members were involved, and how the computer systems were exploited once breached." It also notes that he "engaged in additional, substantial proactive cooperation that enabled the FBI to prevent a substantial number of planned cyber attacks" against government agencies like NASA, as well as a number of unidentified private firms. It's said his involvement stopped at least 300 attacks and saved millions of dollars in damage.
Back in 2012, after he began working as an informant for the FBI, Monsegur served seven months in prison when his bail was revoked for "unauthorized online postings." He was released under new bail terms later that year, and the FBI has delayed his sentencing a number of times. Most other LulzSec members caught with the help of Monsegur's cooperating are currently serving one to three year terms.