Hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, who helped prevent cyberattacks, freed

By Kyle Johnson,

Hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as Sabu, was sentenced to time served on Tuesday and freed, a day after prosecutors asked for leniency.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preskas reduced the sentence to time served and ordered him to pay a $1,200 fine, reports the Los Angeles Times. The judge noted that Monsegur's contributions after his 2011 arrest were "truly extraordinary."

Monsegur face a 20-year prison sentence stemming from a 2011 guilty plea for hacking, identity theft and fraud charges. During his time with Anonymous, where he was said to be an "influential member" of LulzSec, he helped steal information from a variety of companies worldwide.

When he was first arrested, the hacker immediately agreed to help the U.S. government and thwarted nearly 300 cyberattacks targeting U.S. businesses and government agencies. His invaluable assistance led prosecutors to seek a lenient sentence.

He spent seven months in prison in 2012 after his bail was revoked when it was discovered he was making "unauthorized online posting[s]." His bail was eventually reinstated.

Due to Monsegur's cooperation, he and some family members actually had to be relocated after he began receiving threats.

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