Former head of LulzSec hacker group co-operated with FBI

27 May 2014

It is understood that the former head of the hacking group LulzSec was drafted into the FBI payroll and was responsible for the prevention of 300 cyberattacks in the last three years.

Arrested for his numerous hacking attempts in 2011, Hector Xavier Monsegur agreed to cooperate with the FBI since then to find, locate and prevent hundreds of cyber-attacks in return for a more lenient sentence, but is now expected to be awaiting the charges originally made against him.

According to the BBC, Monsegur – also known to go by his online name Sabu – was arrested along with five other members of the online organisation which the court filings show that during their illegal activities, they conducted major hacks into major media organisations including Fox, CBS, Sony and Bethesda, among others.

Described in the court documents as an “extremely valuable and productive co-operator”, Monsegur was considered a the orchestrator behind the hacking a number of government’s websites, including Ireland’s own Fine Gael, which was actually undertaken by an Irish hacker, Donncha O’Cearrbhail, otherwise known as ‘palladium’ who has since gone on to become actively involved in the DU Pirate Party and other online security awareness issues.

For the scale of his crimes, Mosegur would be due to serve a minimum of between 21 and 26 years in prison, but with the level of his cooperation being so highly considered by prosecutors, it is expected to be considerably less than this.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic