Missing From The Story: LulzSec Informant Sabu Released Early Because He Got LulzSec To Hack FOR The FBI
from the time served indeed dept
Earlier this week, there were plenty of reports about how Hector Xavier Monsegur, also know as “Sabu,” the leader/turned informant of the Anonymous spinoff hacking project LulzSec, was released from jail early for his “extraordinary cooperation” with the FBI. Technically, this was at his sentencing, and he was given “time served” (amounting to about 7 months in jail). Most folks have noted that the “extraordinary cooperation” involved handing over the names and information on other LulzSec members, including Jeremy Hammond, who was recently sentenced (by the same judge) to 10 years in prison.
However, that seems to leave out the other, increasingly troubling, aspect of the Sabu story — which was that he didn’t just “cooperate” with the FBI in fingering various LulzSec members, he actually gave them orders (which first came from the FBI) on who to hack, including key government computers in a variety of foreign countries. It seems likely that this was the “extraordinary cooperation” that helped Sabu secure a much shorter sentence.
Two of the other individuals that Sabu helped authorities arrest and prosecute have commented on Sabu’s deal. Jake Davis highlights how Sabu was a huge “get” for the FBI, since they didn’t seem to understand much about internet hacking without Sabu to lead them through everything — and he wonders if this will lead others to rush to become informants as well. In fact, Davis points out that the whole reason for the light sentence is probably to encourage more informants — though, it could equally be argued that it’s not just to encourage more informants, but more people who can help the FBI secretly hack into targets.
Meanwhile, another LulzSec member, Ryan Ackroyd, who was recently released after serving 9 months of a 30-month sentence, pointed out that while the sentence is unsurprising, it’s somewhat ridiculous given Sabu was in many ways “the worst” of the bunch:
“Sabu was the worst one out of us all, he should have been given the largest sentence. He was the one stealing from people’s bank accounts, credit cards and PayPal so that he could pay his bills and buy new things. Sabu talked people into hacking things for him and when he got caught he decided to snitch on these people, for something he asked them to do, in order to save himself.”
Either way, no matter what you think of the situation and Sabu, it seems worth remembering that he didn’t just help find other LulzSec members, he got them to hack specific FBI targets.