Hector Xavier Monsegur, better known also by his online hacker call sign Sabu aka The Real Sabu, and his Twitter handle AnonymouSabu is a controversial computer hacker and co-founder of the infamous hacking group LulzSec. Sabu later turned Anonymous traitor and informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), working with the agency for over ten months to aid them in identifying and snitching on other fellow hackers from Lulzsec and related hacking units. LulzSec Security, as they referred to themselves as during an infamous 2011 hacking spree, LulzSec had infiltrated in the affairs of organizations around the world such as News Corporation, Stratfor Security, several British and American law enforcement agencies and the Irish political party Fine Gael. Sabu featured prominently in the group’s published Anonymous IRC chats, and claimed to support the “Free Topiary“ campaign. The Economist referred to Sabu as one of LulzSec’s six core members and their “most expert” hacker. Sabu was identified by Backtrace Security as Hector Montsegur [sic], March 2011, in a PDF publication named “Namshub.” The Jester, who had a goal of exposing the real world identities of LulzSec, claimed in 2011 that Sabu was allegedly an IT consultant from Portugal. The Jester changed his tune and claimed that Sabu was named Xavier Kaotico, another IT consultant. The story gets stranger..
In June 2011, an anonymous pastebin post claiming to identify LulzSec members including Barrett Brown and a few others, also exposed Sabu as Hector Monsegur. Finally, in November 2011 in a blog entitled “If I am Wrong… I’ll say I’m wrong”. The Jester agreed that Sabu was Monsegur, with links and images as back-up. Sabu typed in a December 2010 chatroom, “I’m a wild nigga. Everyone knows me for my behavior … and I’m here like a pit bull wanting to own,” which is to take over other people’s computers and sometimes even their entire identities causing havoc.
In June 2011, Federal agents arrested Monsegur. The following day, Monsegur had agreed to cooperate and become an informant for the FBI, continuing his infamous “Sabu” persona. “Since literally the day he was arrested, the defendant has been cooperating with the government proactively,” sometimes staying up all night engaging in conversations with co-conspirators to help the government build cases against them, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Pastore said at a secret bail hearing in August 2011. A few days after the bail hearing, Monsegur had entered a guilty plea to 12 criminal charges, including multiple 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.
In March 2012, Sabu was revealed to be Monsegur, a 28-year old party boy of the projects and unemployed foster parent of two children. Sabu attended but did not graduate from Washington Irving High School. He had been residing in his late grandmother’s apartment in the Lower East Side Riis Houses in New York City.
Monsegur now faces up to 124 years in prison. As an FBI informant, Monsegur had provided the FBI with details enabling the successful arrest of five other hackers associated with the groups Anonymous, Lulzsec and Anti-Sec. The FBI provided its own servers for the hacking to take place. Information Monsegur provided the FBI also resulted in the arrest of two United Kingdom hackers known as James Jeffery and Ryan Cleary. During this particular time in August 2012, Monsegur bought himself another six months of freedom because of his cooperation with the FBI. The FBI had attempted to use Monsegur to entrap Nadim Kobeissi, Who is the author of the secure communication software Cryptocat, but the mission ended without success.
Until March 2012, Monsegur maintained his pretense, even tweeting his “opposition” to the federal government until the very last day. The final day’s tweets included, “The feds at this moment are scouring our lives without warrants. Without judges approval. This needs to change. Asap” and “The federal government is run by a bunch of fucking cowards. Don’t give in to these people. Fight back. Stay strong”. The same day of those tweets the FBI had announced the arrests of five male suspects: two from Britain, two from Ireland and one from the U.S.
However, Monsegur has not been explicitly linked to the group Anonymous. The extent of crossover between the members of such hacktivist groups, is at this point uncertain. Anonymous reacted to Sabu’s unmasking and betrayal of LulzSec on Twitter, “#Anonymous is a hydra, cut off one head and we grow two back”.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed a motion in the New York courts to keep Monsegur on the streets until February 2013 due to his “ongoing cooperation with the government.” Monsegur offered no contest plea to the motion and had reportedly missed earlier court appearances over fears for his personal safety. Now there are new reports saying that Monsegur will be helping the FBI again. The brand new court document doesn’t specify if the infamous hacker is still actively helping with new FBI investigations or just clearing up some of the old ones that were already in the works. Monsegur’s new scheduled court date will be sometime after August 23.
Do you think Sabu will continue helping the feds to keep out of jail? Maybe his unique services that he’s providing to the FBI will grant him some sort of “time served”. If Sabu was smart (which he is), and at some point get over his cocky behavior. He might actually end up working for the FBI doing a “legit job” of hacking for intel and not wasting his time destroying others lives for fun. It’s not unheard of as the FBI has hired ex-cons and the “best of the best” in the particular field in the past. Please share your thoughts, opinions and comments about this controversial topic below…