Former Hacker Hector "Sabu" Monsegur Gets Time Served After "Extraordinary" Cooperation With Feds

Screenshot via.
Monsegur in 2012.
In June of 2011, over the course of a single day, Hector "Sabu" Monsegur went from being one of the most prolific hackers affiliated with Anonymous and offshoot group Lulzsec to helping the FBI bring them down. In Federal District Court in Manhattan yesterday, Monsegur, who was potentially facing two years in prison for his own hacking activities, was sentenced instead to time served, in light of what court documents and Judge Loretta A. Preska called his "extraordinary" cooperation with federal authorities.

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Jeremy Hammond Pleads Guilty in Stratfor Hack, Could Serve 10 Years in Prison

Categories: Courts, Hackers

Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty to his role in the 2011 Stratfor hack.
Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty today in federal court to a single count of conspiracy. Hammond had been facing 30 years to life in prison for his part in the hacking of the corporate spy agency Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, in 2011. Today's plea is part of a deal with prosecutors under which Hammond will face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Dressed in a navy blue prison jumpsuit, Hammond raised his right hand in a fist when Judge Loretta Preska asked him to raise his hand and swear to tell the truth. He then read a statement admitting to his part in the Stratfor hack and the subsequent release of private Stratfor e-mails to Wikileaks.

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Parents Grill Department of Education Over Private Student Data Cloud

Categories: Education, Hackers

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"I know that you're just a messenger, so I want to make sure you deliver this message properly to your supervisors," parent and City Council candidate Jelani Mashariki told the Department of Education's deputy chief academic officer, Adina Lopatin, at a Borough Hall town hall packed with families Monday night.

Read more: Who Is Stockpiling and Sharing Private Information About New York Students?

"You're not going to give out my child's information to a third-party corporation to do whatever it is they want to do," Makarishi continued over whistles and applause from the audience. "The people are not going to have it and we are going to fight back."

Several other audience members had similar things to say regarding inBloom Inc., the controversial data-sharing initiative that parents at Monday night's volatile forum believe violates the privacy and security of their children. The $100 million initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and federal grants, and built by News Corp's Wireless Generation, is responsible for designing something called an Education Data Portal in order to provide data tools to teachers and families.

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Bradley Manning Offers to Plead to Lesser Charges in Wikileaks Trial

U.S. Army
Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to some charges in military court this morning.
After 1,007 days in jail, Private First Class Bradley Manning, the 25-year-old soldier accused of leaking classified material to Wikileaks, appeared in military court at Fort Meade today to plead guilty to modified versions of some of the more minor charges against him.

Specifically, Manning admitted to leaking State Department cables, video that appears to show the killing of civilians by a helicopter gunship in Iraq, and the secret assessment files of Guantanamo detainees.

But Manning maintained his not-guilty plea to the most significant charges, including "aiding the enemy." He told the court he chose the leaked material because he believed that while it would be embarrassing for the United States government and might provoke policy changes, he "was absolutely sure [they] wouldn't cause harm to the United States"

Manning was allowed to read a 35-page statement to the court, in which he said that nobody from Wikileaks pressured him to leak the materials. In fact, before he turned to Wikileaks, he tried to interest press outlets including the New York Times, Reuters, the Washington Post, and Politico.

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Judge in Jeremy Hammond Case Won't Recuse Herself

Jeremy Hammond is facing 30 years to life in the Stratfor hacking case.
Jeremy Hammond loped into a federal courtroom in Lower Manhattan this morning with an awkward gait, his wrists handcuffed before him and his ankles shackled tightly together. Dressed in a navy blue prison jumpsuit, Hammond, the 27-year-old activist and hacker, is facing 30-years-to-life on charges related to the hacking of corporate spy agency Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor. He has been held without bail in the Metropolitan Correction Center for more than a year, and has spent much of the past month in solitary confinement.

Hammond's trial is still many months away, but he was in court today for a hearing on whether Chief District Judge Loretta Preska should recuse herself from hearing his case. Preska is married to Thomas Kavaler, a lawyer and former client of Stratfor, whose email and encrypted password were leaked in the Stratfor hack of which Hammond is accused. Kavaler is a partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindell LLP -- where Preska was also a partner before becoming a judge -- a firm that has represented more than 20 victims of the hack.

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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Gets Russian TV Show

Lights, camera, action. This Tuesday, WikiLeaks founder and hacker superstar, Julian Assange, will premiere his new show, "The World Tomorrow," on the Russian government's satellite channel, Russia Today. It will be broadcasted online and on air in English, Spanish and Arabic - three of the most widely spoken languages in the world - and is sure to piss off the top echelons of governments across the globe.

The promotion above, released internationally Friday, is a snippet of what's to come the most authority-hated, pursued man in the world. And, boy, does it look interesting.

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Syrian President Bashar Assad's E-mail Hacked by Anonymous, Hilarity Ensues

Our favorite hacker group of questionable motivations, Anonymous, has set its sights on its next target: Syrian president Bashar Assad. Late on Sunday night, Anonymous gained access to 78 different e-mail accounts at the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs, including that of the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, and Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.

The Israeli news organization Haaretz was able to obtain some of the e-mails, and posted them online for all to read.

Sadly, it's clear that no one bothered to give Assad's office a lesson in basic computer security, because several of the accounts apparently had the password 12345. C'mon, guys, your password should never be sequential or easy to guess! We learned not to do that in the fifth grade!

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Meet Trinity College's Newest Professor: Dr. Conan T. Barbarian

Professor Conan T. Barbarian
The website for Trinity College in Dublin was vastly improved last week when a prankster posted the profile of a new English professor, Dr. Conan T. Barbarian. The profile, which has since been taken down but can be viewed on the cached page, features a picture of a shirtless Arnold Schwarzenegger and a biographical paragraph that is faithful to the Conan the Barbarian canon. MSNBC reports that Trinity spokeswoman Caoimhe Ni Lochlainn believes someone affiliated with the university is responsible for the alterations and not outside hackers. That, or Conan's sworn enemy, Thulsa Doom.

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Talking Points Memo Brought Down in Apparent Hacker Attack

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Talking Points Memo (or TPM, as the kids call it), was down for about 8 hours overnight. This major site interruption comes after they ran 14 mugshots of alleged members of the hacker group Anonymous after their arrests. TPM obtained the mugshots through the Freedom of Information Act and were not the only site to post the images (Gawker posted the images as well, but their site didn't face any apparent issues). There is no direct evidence that it was an Anonymous attack, but the timing is one hell of a coincidence.

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Anonymous Doesn't Actually Want to Destroy Facebook

anonymous facebook .jpg
Stop backing up your Facebook photos, because hacker collective Anonymous' plot to kill the 'book was all a big misunderstanding. Not a hoax, exactly; there was once a plan by an Anonymous user named Speakeasy and associates to raise awareness about Facebook's privacy policies and start an alternate social networking service. The originators of the idea handed over the reigns to the social network, Anonplus, to others, but left scraps of their work behind. Like in a game of Telephone, those scraps were distorted in the hands of other Internet trolls and eventually it was made to seem as though Anonymous was hell-bent on Facebook's destruction.

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