Technology

Hacker 'Sabu' gets lenient sentence after helping US

Hector Xavier Monsegur Image copyright AP
Image caption The hacktivist community reacted angrily to the sentencing

A convicted hacker-turned-informant, who was facing in excess of 20 years in prison, has been handed a sentence of a year's supervision.

Hector Xavier Monsegur - known as "Sabu" - was arrested in 2011 on hacking charges.

He had faced a lengthy term, but instead agreed to work with US authorities to identify other hacking suspects.

The FBI said Monsegur had stopped more than 300 hacking attacks.

In a New York court, a judge sentenced him to seven months - which he has already served - and a year's supervision.

'Cybercriminal target'

Monsegur was said to be the "leader" of LulzSec, a group, formed in 2011, known for several high-profile hack attacks.

LulzSec was an offshoot of the Anonymous hacktivist movement, and took credit for hitting the websites of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), among others.

When Monsegur was arrested later in the same year, he agreed to carry on operating in the hacking community, under FBI supervision.

Authorities said they were able to use his connections to prosecute and convict a number of hackers, including the "number one cybercriminal target in the world" at the time - Jeremy Hammond.

The FBI said that thanks to Monsegur, future high-profile attacks had been prevented.

Victims of the attacks were to include the US Armed Forces, the US Congress and Nasa as well as a "television network, a video game manufacturer and an electronics conglomerate".

The hacktivist community has reacted angrily to the sentencing.

Court documents made public this week described how Monsegur had been "approached on the street and threatened or menaced" once details of his cooperation had become known.

Reacting to the news today, Monsegur was described by some as a "traitor" and a "super snitch".

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