April 24, 2014
Unredacted court documents show Hector Xavier Monsegur, the FBI informant who ratted out fellow hackers from the groups LulzSec and Anonymous, directed hundreds of cyberattacks against the government websites of Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Brazil and others.
The new information is contained in a court statement related to the case of Jerry Hammond, a hacker and activist prosecuted after he was fingered by Monsegur, aka Sabu, following a cyberattack on Stratfor, a global intelligence company based in Austin, Texas. It is believed Stratfor operates as a “shadow CIA.”
Hammond exploited a web hosting software called Plesk. It allowed backdoor access to a large number of websites. After the Plesk vulnerability was discovered, Monsegur directed Hammond to attack foreign websites and download email and databases. The data was then turned over to Monsegur and, it is assumed, the FBI and the government.
The statement reveals Monsegur directed other hackers to provide him with a large amount of data from Syrian websites, including banks and government ministries.
“The FBI took advantage of hackers who wanted to help support the Syrian people against the Assad regime, who instead unwittingly provided the U.S. government access to Syrian systems,” the statement reads, according to The New York Times.
In other words, the FBI used hackers, who were subsequently arrested and imprisoned, in an effort to steal data and feed it to intelligence agencies in the United States.
“Trust me,” Monsegur told Hammond during an encrypted internet chat. “Everything I do serves a purpose.” He assured Hammond the stolen data would be put “to good use.”
“It’s not only hypocritical but troubling if indeed the FBI is loaning its sting operations out to other three-letter agencies,” Gabriella Coleman, a professor at McGill University and author of a book on Anonymous, told the newspaper.
The FBI is notorious for exploiting patsies who are then arrested and imprisoned.