Head of LulzSec reportedly worked with FBI for months, participated in disinformation campaign
By End the Lie
Today brought yet another international raid targeting alleged members of the hacker group Lulz Security, better known as LulzSec along with reports that Hector Xavier Monsegur or “Sabu” was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for months.
During the peak of their activities I pointed out that their activities were in no way forwarding the cause of internet freedom, in fact they were giving ammunition to those in Washington who would like to see the internet be under total government control.
An article in the Guardian (which I addressed here) quoted one of my articles on the subject, essentially claiming that I had been tricked by the group into thinking they were working with the government.
As it turns out, I was, to a certain extent, correct the entire time. While it is now clear that all of LulzSec was not a government operation, I was correct in postulating that the leadership could be working directly with the government.
At the time, there was also concerns that the LulzSec member “Nakomis” was working with the government, although it is now obvious that they were controlling the group from the very top.
It’s always enjoyable to see when the alternative media and so-called “conspiracy theorists” are vindicated by the mainstream media months after the fact.
The operation targeted five of the top members of LulzSec across the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States and an FBI official told Fox News, “This is devastating to the organization. We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”
LulzSec has claimed responsibility for a wide variety of attacks on targets ranging from Sony, to FBI affiliates, to government entities like the official Senate website and even random everyday people.
Last year, LulzSec assimilated into the amorphous Anonymous and stopped operating under their own banner, although the operations never ceased.
Monsegur reportedly was facing a dozen hacking-related charges, to which he pleaded guilty on August 15, 2011. After this time, it appears that he began working with the FBI in order to receive a reduced sentence.
“They caught him and he was secretly arrested and now works for the FBI,” a source that went unnamed who is allegedly close to Monsegur told Fox News.
So far, those arrested include: Ryan “Kayla” Ackroyd, Jake “Topiary” Davis, Darren “pwnsauce” Martyn, Donncha “palladium” O’Cearrbhail, and Jeremy “Anarchaos” Hammond.
Kayla and Topiary were arrested in London, England, pwnsauce and palladium in Ireland and Anarchaos in Chicago, Illinois.
This comes after another recent international raid targeting Anonymous resulted in arrests of a whopping 25 suspects.
According to Fox News’ coverage, Monsegur was quite a helpful asset for the government. According to anonymous sources who they claim are close to Sabu as well as law enforcement officials, he was disseminating disinformation via Twitter and even protecting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other government and financial institutions from being hacked.
The FBI was reportedly able to flip Monsegur on his associates by leveraging his guardianship of two children against him.
“He didn’t go easy,” an anonymous law enforcement official involved in the operation said. “It was because of his kids. He didn’t want to go away to prison and leave them. That’s how we got him.”
“He really cares about these kids,” another unnamed source said. “They’re young [and] he is really worried about what will happen.”
After he faced his charges, Monsegur reportedly began working out of FBI offices on an almost daily basis, assisting federal agents in identifying and arresting other prominent members of LulzSec and Anonymous.
Eventually he was allowed to work from home using a laptop provided to him by the FBI while his old computer was given to the FBI along with all of the encryption keys needed to uncover his records and log them as evidence.
Fox News paints Monsegur as this godly figure in the hacking world, likening the leads on vulnerabilities that hackers “he commanded” would send him to “offerings made to a monarch.”
Furthermore, they quote an anonymous law enforcement official as saying, “In half the world he was a god. If he thought what you did was good, you’d rise up in the [hacker] community – once he blessed you, basically.”
Monsegur reportedly spent 8 to 16 hours on the computer every day under the constant watchful eye of an FBI agent who monitored his activities through software loaded on to the government-issued laptop.
When LulzSec hackers would pass information to Monsegur about vulnerabilities they discovered, he would turn around and hand over the information to the FBI who would attempt to warn the targets before they were attacked.
Monsegur and his FBI handlers were also behind a large disinformation campaign which even included getting in touch with reporters who believed they were interviewing a notorious hacker.
Sometimes the journalists would be speaking directly to FBI agents the entire time, other times it would be Monsegur himself with his handlers by his side making sure he said what they wanted him to.
“About 90 percent of what you see online is bulls—,” one of Monsegur’s FBI handlers told Fox News, referring to their quite massive disinformation campaign.
An FBI supervisory official told Fox that Monsegur’s activites helped the FBI alert some 300 government, financial and corporate entities around the world to the potential points of vulnerability in their systems, all without blowing his cover this entire time.
Monsegur also acted as a fact-checker for the FBI, verifying claims of breaches and information theft from members of LulzSec or Anonymous.
Sabu was even responsible for calling off a DDoS attack on the CIA’s public website at the request of the FBI.
“We told Sabut to tell them to stop,” an anonymous official stated. “’It’s embarrassing for the CIA,’ we told Sabu, ‘Make them stop, now.’”
Like any good minion, Monsegur followed orders and said, “You’re knocking over a bee’s nest,” to his hacker pals.
When he told them to stop, that is exactly what they did. I’m not sure why the attack was so embarrassing for the CIA given that it was not actually a hack, just a disruption of their public website’s availability.
“When people in the hacking community realize their God has actually been [in] cooperation with the government, it’ll be sheer terror,” one senior official said.
“You might be a messiah in the hacking community but you’re still a rat,” another anonymous source said.
It will be interesting to see how Anonymous reacts to this revelation, although it has been said in the past that around a quarter of all hackers already work with government entities in one way or another.
The activities of LulzSec made it very clear to me that they would be targeted for infiltration, if they weren’t already compromised.
It is now obvious that my hunch was correct and they were a tool of the FBI for even longer than I had thought.
Did I miss anything? Would you like to share your opinion, tip me off to an important story, or share some of your own writing? Email me at [email protected]