The celebrity hacker known as ‘Sabu’ helped the FBI send his friends to prison and stop some 300 cyber attacks over the past three years, according to CNN Money. Sabu betrayed multiple hacking groups to work with the FBI.
The person behind the internet name is that of Hector Monsegur, who used the moniker while working online. He belonged to the hacking groups known as LulzSec and Anonymous.
Monsegur pleaded guilty to charges of credit card fraud and identity theft and will be sentenced on Tuesday. His hacks have caused estimated losses of $2.5 million and could face 26 years in prison, but the government will ask for leniency because of his help. The government might even ask for no added jail time outside of the seven months he has already spent behind bars.
His work helped the FBI prevent attacks on websites belonging to NASA, the U.S. military, and media companies. According to court documents, he and his family had to be relocated due to threats.
Monsegur was one of the hackers that attacked websites for Fox Television, PBS, Sony Pictures, Nintendo and many more back in 2011. The groups responsible for those attacks were LulzSec and Internet Feds, both sectors of Anonymous.
Monsegur was visited by FBI agents in June of 2011 at his apartment in Manhattan and he agreed to become an informant on the spot. Monsegur agreed to a guilty plea and went home to get back online, but this time working as an FBI informant.
Monsegur’s help aided the FBI in its capture of the most-wanted cybercriminal, Jeremy Hammond. Hammond is serving 10 years in prison right now.
“Working sometimes literally around the clock, at the direction of law enforcement, Monsegur engaged his co-conspirators in online chats that were critical to confirming their identities and whereabouts,” prosecutors said. “During some of the online chats, at the direction of law enforcement, Monsegur convinced LulzSec members to provide him digital evidence of the hacking activities they claimed to have previously engaged in, such as logs regarding particular criminal hacks.”
Monsegur was arrested in 2012 for violating his cooperation agreement when he made unauthorized posts online. This is when his deal with the FBI became public.
When the news broke, Anonymous hacked a website and posted a letter to Sabu that said:
“Sabu snitched on us. As usually happens FBI menaced him to take his sons away. We understand, but we were your family too (remember what you liked to say?) It’s sad and we can’t imagine how it feels having to look at the mirror each morning and see there the guy who shopped their friends to [the] police.”