Convicted Hacker Who Helped Authorities Faces No Additional Jail Time
Source: Wall Street Journal
Prosecutors, defense lawyers and a federal judge all agreed on one thing during the sentencing of an influential hacker Tuesday: Once caught, Hector Xavier Monsegur became an exceptional asset for the government.
The 30-year-old helped prosecutors obtain convictions against a group of men allegedly behind hacking groups called Anonymous and Lulz Security, or LulzSec—and helped investigators thwart at least 300 cyberattacks on targets that included the U.S. military, NASA and Congress.
U.S. District Judge Loretta A Preska sentenced Mr. Monsegur, known as “Sabu” in hacking circles, to time served Tuesday and one year of supervised release, in large part because of his cooperation.
“It was truly extraordinary,” Judge Preska said during the sentencing in Manhattan federal court. “We don’t often hear of this.”
After being arrested in 2011, Mr. Monsegur immediately flipped and began “around-the-clock” cooperation with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, Judge Preska said. He did so despite real threats to himself and his family, which caused authorities to re-locate them, the judge said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Monsegur’s lawyers said he also passed on information about cyber vulnerabilities in the water supply system of a major U.S. city and in the supply chain of a foreign energy company.
He pleaded guilty in 2011 to 12 criminal charges, including three counts of conspiracy to engage in computer hacking; computer hacking in furtherance of fraud; conspiracy to commit access device fraud; conspiracy to commit bank fraud; and aggravated identity theft.
Mr. Monsegur said he had come a long way over the last three years.
“I assure you, you won’t see me in this courtroom again,” Mr. Monsegur told Judge Preska on Tuesday. “I’m not the same person you saw three years ago.”