Criminal Justice

Facing decades in prison, computer hacker 'Sabu' gets time served due to cooperation with feds

A prolific corporate and government computer hacker known as “Sabu” could have gotten decades in prison for attacks he orchestrated against targets including credit card issuers, the U.S. Senate and other government entities worldwide.

However, Hector Xavier Monsegur was sentenced Tuesday to time served after cooperating with the feds and pleading guilty three years ago to hacking, credit card fraud and identity theft. They say he worked around the clock, side-by-side with FBI agents, to put the finger on former colleagues in cybercrime and thwart some 300 hack attacks, according to ABC News, the Associated Press, the BBC News and Bloomberg News.

“The amount of loss prevented by Monsegur’s actions is difficult to fully quantify but even a conservative estimate would yield a loss prevention figure in the millions of dollars,” said James Pastore, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Moreover, Monsegur provided information about actual and purported vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure.”

An earlier New York Times article suggested that Monsegur had also helped the U.S. gather foreign intelligence information.

CNET points readers to a copy of the sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors in the Manhattan case and provides a copy of the reports that federal sentencing guidelines called for Monsegur to get between 21 and 26 years.

At this point he has served seven months in jail, the CNET article says.

See also: “Did hacker help FBI get overseas intelligence? Court docs suggest answer may be yes, NY Times says”

New York Times (reg. req.): “Hacker Group Lashes Out Against Informant”

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