The FBI and Sabu: Who Got Hurt?

Here's Sabu on December 25 taking credit for the Stratfor hack:

We did the hack under #antisec which is an operation within anonymous.... we are decentralized

Here's what was taken from Stratfor and released:

860,000 usernames, emails, and md5-hashed passwords; data from 75,000 credit cards, including security codes used for no card present transactions; and over 2.5 million Stratfor emails, internal Stratfor documents from the company’s intranet, and support tickets from it.stratfor.com.

While Sabu had his associates and followers thinking he was on the run, he was actually encouraging others to commit the same crimes he always had, except this time under the direction of the FBI. [More...]

Some members of Anonymous didn't fall for it:

Sabu and his crew are nothing more than opportunistic attention wh*res who are possibly agent provocateurs.

But many more did and participated in later hacks and releases.

It's an interesting timeline: Sabu is arrested on June 7 and immediately cooperates. On June 19, out came AntiSec seeking recruits. On June 25, LulzSec announces it's done and throws it support to AntiSec. On June 29, AntiSec releases its first document dump.

It has been a week since the LulzBoat lowered the LulzSec flag, she now proudly flies under the #AntiSec colors. Since this day, the movement is organized by a flotilla of independent but allied vessels.

In this short time, the friendly vessels were able to capture copious amounts of booty, all claimed in the name of #AntiSec. Make no mistake: While the LulzBoat is still sailing with us (albeit not with the LulzSec flag), the objective of #AntiSec is different. Despite being still driven by Lulz and therefore also providing them, the mission has become larger than us. #AntiSec is more than Lulz and more than even Anonymous: It is our true belief that this movement has the capability to change the world. And should that fail, we will at least rock the world.

I'm not the first to wonder if AntiSec was a sting operation conceived by the Feds with Sabu's help after his arrest. Or whether the FBI could have stopped the release of Stratfor data or AntiSec's hack of the website of the law firm that represented Frank Wuterich in the Haditha murders. (Anti-Sec takes credit here.)

Here's a tweet from Sabu right before he "disappears" for a month on August 17:

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

He was back a month later, claiming he never left. In this tweet the same day, he says:

They tried to snitch me out, troll me, dox every one around me, bait me into endless arguments but theres one thing they can't do: STOP ME!

Arrests aside, how many of the hacks and credit card thefts Sabu promoted during his cooperation could have been prevented by the FBI, had agents and prosecutors not thought it more important to get hackers away from their keyboards and into prison than prevent identity theft and protect innocent consumers? I hope the answer is none. If it isn't, the FBI has some explaining to do.

< Hacker Monsegur aka Sabu In His "Own" Words | Friday Night Open Thread >
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  • Display: Sort:
    So was Sabu's arrest (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 08:42:48 PM EST
    just theater? Part of the sting?

    don't think so (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 10:12:28 PM EST
    I think the arrest in June was legit, The question is whether the crimes committed afterwards were orchestrated  (theater) by the feds and part of a sting they created.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 10:14:23 PM EST
    I had read this post and commented before reading your other post about him...

    Hacking isn't sport (none / 0) (#4)
    by koshembos on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 11:07:48 PM EST
    Anonymous and other hackers who violate privacy or steal information should be stopped. The criminal approach with jail sentences is probably the wrong remedy, but sitting on our hands or applauding will likely to encourage more violation of that sort.

    the end doesn't always (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 12:56:21 AM EST
    justify the means. Stings too often capture innocent people. There are other investigative techniques available to the Government.

    You don't have to be a supporter of Anonymous or their actions to question the way the FBI handled this.