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Anonymou Sabu's Get of of Jail Free Card

Bump and Update from 5/25/14: As expected, Anonymou Sabu, aka Hector Monsegur, was sentenced to time served today. The judge called his cooperation "extraordinary." See below for the link to his online postings that resulted in his bail being revoked and serving 7 months.

After three years, Anonymou Sabu, aka Hector Monsegur, will finally face a federal judge for sentencing on May 27. The infamous former member of Lulzsec and Anonymous, who agreed to cooperate the night of his arrest on June 7, 2011, agreed to plead guilty to 12 felonies in August, 2011, including nine counts related to computer hacking; one count of credit card fraud; one count of conspiring to commit bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Charges pending in four other federal districts were dropped as part of his deal. His plea agreement is here.

The maximum possible sentence for the 12 counts is 122 years. His sentencing guidelines call for a 259 to 317 months sentence (2 years of which are a mandatory minimum.) His guidelines are based on a total loss amount of $20 million to $50 million (the loss caused by his direct participation was $1.5 to $2 million).

As a reward for his cooperation, the Government is seeking no jail time -- a sentence of time served -- with the served part being 7 months he spent in pretrial detention in 2012 after he violated his plea agreement by posting online without authorization and had his bond revoked. [More....]

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Jeremy Hammond Pleads Guilty to Stratfor Hack

Lulzec/Anti-Sec hacker Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to the Stratfor hack. He did not cooperate for a lesser sentence, and faces up to 10 years in prison. Had he gone to trial and lost, his sentencing guidelines exceeded 30 years. The Government has agreed not to bring additional cases against him.

Jeremy released this statement after his plea.

[E]ven if I was found not guilty at trial, the government claimed that there were eight other outstanding indictments against me from jurisdictions scattered throughout the country. If I had won this trial I would likely have been shipped across the country to face new but similar charges in a different district. The process might have repeated indefinitely. Ultimately I decided that the most practical route was to accept this plea with a maximum of a ten year sentence and immunity from prosecution in every federal court.

He says it's a relief to admit his actions. As to his hacking activities, he says "I did what I believe is right." [More...]

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Anonymous "Operation Last Resort" Takes Down U.S. Sentencing Site

Anonymous has hacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission in retaliation for the suicide of Aaron Swartz and in protest of the overly harsh federal sentencing guidelines and policies of the Department of Justice, particularly for hactivists. More here.

From the video: They have been plotting and holding their tongue, but with the death of Aaron, they will wait no longer. They have decided to give the Justice Department a taste of its own medicine and show it the true meaning of infiltration. It wants legislative change and a return to proportionality in sentencing. Today is just the beginning. [More...]

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Anonymous Associate Barrett Brown Indicted, Seeks Competency Evaluation

Barrett Brown, a vocal supporter of Anonymous, was arrested by the FBI three weeks ago. The raid occurred during an online chat at his home in Dallas. He was ordered detained without bail as a flight risk and danger to the community, but no charges were publicly available for weeks.

Brown has now been indicted on three counts, including making Internet threats, conspiring to make restricted personal information of a government employee publicly available, and retaliation against a federal law enforcement officer. The maximum sentence is 20 years. The Indictment is here.

His lawyer has filed a motion to determine his competency, which has been granted. From the docket: [More...]

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Ohio Hacker Charged With Utah Police Website Attacks

John Anthony Borell III of Toledo, Ohio, aka "ItsKahuna", age 21, who allegedly is part of CabinCr3w and affiliated with Anonymous, appeared in federal court in Salt Lake City today. He's been charged with computer intrusion for hacking into the Utah Police website and accessing its database. The Affidavit for the criminal Complaint, available here, says:

CabinCr3w is a defined group of individuals, two of whom use the Twitter accounts @ItsKahuna and @Anonwormer, who associate and conspire to differing levels to hack computer systems. CabinCr3w specifically targets law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations associated with law enforcement; and the personal lives of those who work in law enforcement related fields. While CabinCr3w is a distinct and definable group of individuals, their activities are justified by the concept of Anonymous,-and their activities are ascribed thereto.

The FBI identified Borell through his Twitter posts and messages, Facebook page, online chats and pastebin postings. The Complaint alleges he admitted on Twitter and in chats that he was responsible for the Utah hacks. [More...]

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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...]

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Hacker Monsegur aka Sabu's Plea Agreement Released

Thanks to Reuters legal correspondent Basil Katz for publishing the plea agreement and transcript of guilty plea hearing for Anonymous/LulzSec hacker-turned-informant Hector Monsegur, aka Sabu.

Sabu's plea agreement is "global", meaning it is binding on all 94 U.S. Attorney's offices. No other federal district can charge him with other crimes (excluding criminal tax violations, as are typically excluded.)

Sabu won't be federally charged for any other past crimes he voluntarily disclosed, although the court can consider them as relevant conduct at sentencing. These include attempts to sell pounds of pot, hooking up buyers of marijuana and prescription drugs to potential sellers from 2009 to 2011, racking up $15,000 worth of unauthorized charges on his employer's credit card, purchase of stolen jewelry and electronics, and possession of a handgun. And any other uncharged hacking offenses committed between 1999 and 2010. [More...]

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More Hacking Indictments Coming?

Barrett Brown says it looks like he will be indicted. Yesterday he posted this statement about the FBI searches of his apartment and his mother's house. At least he's lawyered up. (Added: During a video chat today he said the feds wanted him to do 9 years.)

In Sabu news, the transcript of LulzSec informant Hector Xavier Monsegur's guilty plea hearing has been unsealed. From news sources quoting it, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Pastore told the judge: [More...]

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Turning Sabu and the Effect of the Hacking Arrests

Anonymous is an idea, not a group. Those associated with Anonymous say they will continue despite today's arrests. They also point out that LulzSec disbanded last June. (Here's the pastebin announcement, assuming it's really by LulzSec, which it seems to be.)

As for Sabu, aka Hector Xavier Monsegur, it appears he began cooperating the night of his arrest, June 7, 2011. Fox got some firsthand information on his takedown. Now that the docket has been unsealed, I see this entry:

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge James L. Cott: Initial Appearance as to Hector Xavier Monsegur held on 6/8/2011. Deft appears with Assistant Federal Defender atty Peggy Cross. AUSA James Pastore present for the gov't. Agreed conditions of release: $50,000 PRB. Other conditions: Deft to be supervised by the FBI with respect to travel and reporting and all other issues. Deft to be released on own signature. See Sealing Order dated 6/8/11. ( Preliminary Hearing set for 7/8/2011 at 10:00 AM before Judge Unassigned.) (My emphasis)

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Anonymous-LulzSec-Anti-Sec Arrests in New York

Here's the U.S. Attorney's press release on the arrest of six alleged members of Anonymous and LulzSec today.

Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu, was cooperating and led to the others. He pleaded guilty in August. The charged offenses include hacks of Fox Broadcasting Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the Public Broadcasting Service (“PBS”) .

One person from Chicago, Jeremy Hammond, a/k/a “Anarchaos, was charged with the Stratfor hack.

Barrett Brown says on Twitter that his apartment was raided by the FBI this morning and they took laptops but he wasn't arrested. [More...]

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RSA Conference Report: Anatomy of an Anonymous Attack

At the RSA Conference this week in San Francisco, Imperva released a report called Anatomy of an Anonymous Attack. It says Anonymous left clues during an attack on the Vatican and the report details how attacks are planned and carried out.

[It] offers a rare glimpse into the specific strategies, tools, and tactics used by Anonymous in its attempts to infiltrate or take down websites.

The New York Times has more on this.

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Interpol Announces Arrest of 25 Anonymous Hackers

Law enforcement officers swept through Europe and South America today, arresting 25 suspected Anonymous hackers in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain.

The arrests followed an ongoing investigation begun in mid-February, which comprised searches of 40 locations in 15 cities and included the seizure of 250 pieces of information technology equipment and mobile phones, Interpol said.

....Anonymous has no real membership structure. Hackers, activists, and supporters can claim allegiance to its freewheeling principles so it is not clear what impact the arrests will have.

Perhaps in response, Anonymous has taken down Interpol's website. It's still down. [More...]

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Anonymous Releases Law Firm Emails On Haditha

It's been a busy day for Anonymous, which in addition to publishing the FBI-London police telconference call, has hacked the website of the law firm Puckett & Faraj which represents Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the marine who recently got a sweetheart deal for his role in the Haditha killings. You can view Anonymous' message (not the e-mails) here.

The link to the e-mails was posted on Pirate Bay in the last hour. And no, I'm not reading them. I don't have a Torrent program to open them and I'm not downloading one. [More...]

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Anonymous Releases Secret Conference Call Between FBI and UK Police

Anonymous strikes again. It has released a 17 minute conference call held Jan. 17, 2012 between the FBI and London's Metropolitan Police about hacking investigations into Anonymous, LulzSec, Antisec and related groups, and the cases of specific defendants and targets, such as Ryan Cleary, Jake Davis and Kayla. They also talk about whether Chronis is T-Flow and the mechanics of an extradition request.

The call reveals British police and the FBI discussing the delay of court proceedings against two alleged members of the LulzSec hacking group, which attacked a number of sites in 2011 including the US Congress and UK Serious Organised Crime Agency.

How embarrassing for the FBI and Metro police. It appears that an FBI agent sent out an email about the conference call and Anonymous had hacked the email account learning about the conference call. [More...]

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DOJ Takes to Twitter to Address DDOS Attacks on Gov't Websites

The Department of Justice is tweeting its response to the attacks on its website by Anonymous.

Here, here and here:

The DOJ web server hosting http://justice.gov is experiencing a significant increase in activity, resulting in a degradation in service.

The department is working to ensure the website is available while we investigate the origins of this activity... ...which is being treated as a malicious act until we can fully identify the root cause of the disruption.

These are the first tweets by DOJ in over 10 days. [More...]

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