According to new documents unearthed by investigative reporters with the New York Times, the FBI was working with informants in the Anonymous hacking group who were actively carrying out attacks on a variety of high-profile websites during correspondence between the two parties involved.
“The attacks were coordinated by Hector Xavier Monsegur, who used the Internet alias Sabu and became a prominent hacker within Anonymous for a string of attacks on high-profile targets, including PayPal and MasterCard. By early 2012, Mr. Monsegur of New York had been arrested by the F.B.I. and had already spent months working to help the bureau identify other members of Anonymous, according to previously disclosed court papers.”
Much like undercover agents who choose not to interfere with the criminal activities of their targets until the deed has already been carried out, the FBI had allowed Monsegur to continue his work with Anonymous on major DDOS operations such as those that took down PayPal and MasterCard in order to retain him as a quote “valuable asset”. This is a classic case of the US government using the ends to justify the means, and is just another example of hypocrisy on a long list of straws that line their widely-brimmed hat.
By utilizing the services of the now-infamous “plesk” bug, Monsegur was able to penetrate thousands of protected systems simultaneously, along with trained lackeys who were tricked into working with him at the behest of the FBI and their network of associated informants.
One of those lackeys was a man named Jeremy Hammond, 27 at the time, who is currently serving a ten year sentence for his extensive cooperation with Monsegur during one of the most tumultuous times in Anonymous’ short history.
At the time of their correspondence, Monsegur suggested to Hammond they split from the main leadership of Anonymous, and create the now-defunct offshoot of the group known at the time only as “Antisec”.
Antisec made headlines upon its first big crack, tearing through the servers of MasterCard in retaliation for their boycott of donations to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
The FBI had tagged along for the ride on all of these endeavors and more, allowing Monsegur to not only execute his attacks, but actually encouraged him to enlist as many other hackers as possible during Antisec’s short tenure in the limelight back in 2012.