Today the words are being skewed, accusations are being tossed around, and there’s no knowing exactly what’s gone on in a case that seems to have suddenly torn the hacker group LulzSec asunder. As the story goes, former top LulzSec man Hector “Sabu” Xavier Monsegur was until last year working with the loosely organized group of hackers and pushing their agenda on the world, no quarter given. Now it seems that his arrest this past June has turned into a guilty plea revealed today in an unsealed court document that points toward the idea that Sabu may have worked with the FBI to lessen his own sentence in exchange for giving up information that lead to the arrest of several of his former compatriots – but it’s not that cut and dry.
UPDATE: I was wrong! It’s now clear that Sabu did, indeed, work with the FBI over the course of the past several years. He’s been set free with Time Served.
The actual document that says Sabu worked with the FBI rather than just having been questioned by them was released by an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles by the name of Stephanie Christensen. The reason this should send up a flag for you is that the documents and the case in question here took place and were revealed in New York federal court, at the other end of the country. Of course we’re talking about an environment now where such communication is possible between courts, and the team being arrested now as a result of whatever actions took place recently to reveal these other members of LulzSec are being picked up from several places around the world – but the fact remains: two different documents exist.
None of this really has any baring on what’s happened unless you consider the effect its having on the trust the hacker community has in itself. If these compatriots were caught individually and independent of one another, it’d be a different subject entirely, and perhaps not quite as newsworthy. Instead we’ve got a situation on our hands that does not bode well for anyone hoping to keep the hacking fun times alive without caution.
According to Wired, one conversation with documentarian Brian Knappenberger, soon to be well known for his documentary on Anonymous by the name of We Are Legion had the following to say on the subject:
“When he went dark and tweeted the famous Usual Suspects line about the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, I thought then he was snatched up by the FBI. Then he came back a month later and like nothing ever happened — like he took a break or just went on vacation. I had a conversation with someone who said ‘A little bird told me there is a reason they are not arresting Sabu’ but whenever anyone said that on Twitter, Sabu would respond with string of obscenities.” – Knappenberger
Stay tough, folks, and don’t read something as volatile as this just once and expect that the most intense story is the true one. The popular hacker saga continues!