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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At his change of plea hearing (transcript here) Anonymous/LulzSec hacker Hector Monsegur, aka Sabu, was asked to explain in his own words what he did wrong. The Government said Sabu would read from a statement. I think Sabu's explanation of the fraud counts is interesting to anyone concerned about identity theft.
Credit Card Fraud:
With the use of my computer I obtained dozens of credit card numbers of other people from an online site which provided stolen credit card numbers. I also hacked into the computers of two companies. I used these credit card numbers without authorization to pay my own bills as well as gave them to others to make fraudulent purchases. More than $1,000 in charges resulted from the use of these stolen numbers over the course of a one-year period. I knew my conduct was illegal.
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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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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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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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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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