The hacker turned informant keeps getting his day in court delayed, perhaps because the FBI isn't finished with him.
Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu.
For the seventh time, Hector Xavier Monsegur, better known as the hacker-turned-FBI informant "Sabu," has had his sentencing adjourned at the request of federal prosecutors.
Monsegur had been scheduled to receive his sentencing today in New York for crimes connected to the hacker group LulzSec's 50 Days of Lulz campaign, which involved hacking companies like Sony and law enforcement agencies like the CIA. Monsegur pled guilty to 12 criminal charges, including computer hacking, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. But his work for the FBI, which led to the arrest of four hackers, has cast a shadow over his sentencing, and raised the prospect of more arrests to come.
A spokeswoman for the court told me that a new sentencing date has been set for May 27th, at 11 AM. I put together a timeline to show just how many times his sentencing has been adjourned:
A timeline of Sabu's sentencing dates. Made by the author.
As the infamous leader of hacktivist collectives LulzSec, AntiSec, and the Internet Feds, Monsegur coordinated cyberattacks in 2011 against multinational companies, law enforcement agencies, and foreign government websites. He was quietly arrested by the FBI on June 7th, 2011.
Nine months later, in early March of 2012, the unsealing of court documents would indicate that Monsegur had become an active informant to the feds just a day after his arrest. Unsealed court filings also showed a waiver of indictment, and that Monsegur and US attorneys had struck a plea deal in August of 2011.
"Since literally the day he was arrested," said Assistant US Attorney James Pastore in a closed court session, "the defendant has been cooperating with the government proactively." Monsegur originally pleaded to 12 charges, enough to put him behind bars for 124 years.
Many doubted the infamous ex-leader of LulzSec would actually appear today before Chief Judge Loretta Preska in the federal court of New York's Southern District. But with the time intervals between adjournments shortening, his sentencing appears closer.
It's undeniable that Monsegur has been a valuable asset to the FBI. He helped the agency and international law enforcement agencies track down and arrest fellow hackers, and chat logs he recorded were used in the government's successful conviction of outlaw hacker Jeremy Hammond.
Citing the same evidence, the government also recently struck a plea deal with Barrett Brown, an imprisoned journalist who really had no part in the offensive logistics of Hammond's Stratfor hack. Some have speculated that the FBI worked with Monsegur on cyberattacks against the governments of Brazil, Iran, and Syria, and that the agency offered Monsegur's services to other US government agencies.