The hacker who helped the FBI stop cyberattacks is now a free man


Lead LulzSec hacker Sabu (aka Hector Xavier Monsegur) was no doubt hoping for leniency when he turned informant, and it looks like his gamble has paid off. A federal court has sentenced him to the time he served in 2012, letting him walk away a free man. As prosecutors explain, Monsegur was a very "productive cooperator" -- he provided complete, detailed information that helped the FBI take down LulzSec and stop a string of cyberattacks against both corporate and government targets, including Sony.

The sentence isn't going to please those who supported LulzSec's activities, which highlighted both dangerous security holes and questionable government policies. The US relocated Monsegur to help him avoid threats. However, it's not hard to see why he would help out. Guidelines dictated a prison sentence of between 21 to 26 years, and fellow hacker Jeremy Hammond is serving 10 years for his role -- if Monsegur didn't share info, he was going to spend a large portion of his life behind bars.

[Image credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images]