LulzSec, a "hacktivist" group that grew out of larger internet conglomerate Anonymous, has been infiltrated by a federal informant. The twist? He was their leader.
Hector Xavier Monsegur (pictured), who trolled around online as "Sabu," has been revealed by FOX News to be "helping the FBI track down and gather evidence against his associates, tweeting out misinformation and even protecting the CIA among other government and financial institutions from hacks." One can imagine that when the FOX piece compared the unemployed twenty-eight-year-old to "a Mafia don who wears a wire to ensnare his own soldiers," his personal sense of badassness reached a lifetime peak.
Monsegur chose to sell out his men in exchange for the feds dropping any prison time against him. FOX quotes one of the officials on the case saying, "He didn’t go easy… It was because of his kids. He didn’t want to go away to prison and leave them. That’s how we got him." (That should carry a lot of weight with his betrayed underlings.)
Once established as an informant, he sent any hacking leads his minions sent him directly to the FBI. According to FOX, "Monitoring software on his government-issued laptop allowed the feds to see what he did in real time. The FBI has had an agent watching his online activity 24 hours a day, officials said." That job seems like it'd be simultaneously the easiest and most miserable thing you could spend your work day on. (Actually, that summarizes a surprising number of careers in this day and age.)
Monsegur also frequently spread false information to the public and his hacking army. His efforts led to several arrests.
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if there's more to the story. What if this is a ruse constructed by the feds to shame what they perceive as a growing political movement? Alternately, what if Monsegur is smart enough that he is, in fact, the chessmaster of this whole caboodle, and is playing the feds in some way? Time probably won't tell.