Prosecutors say hacker helped prevent cyberattacks, seek lenient sentence

By Kyle Johnson,

Prosecutors asked a judge for a lighter sentence for a computer hacker they say has helped prevent hundreds of potential cyberattacks in the United States.

Federal prosecutors say that Hector Xavier Monsegur helped thwart attacks from some members of Anonymous, reports the Houston Chronicle. His assistance prevented an estimated 300 attakcs and also led to the arrest of cybercriminal Jeremy Hammond, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence.

Monsegur is facing a potentially long prison sentence for several charges, including hacking conspiracy. The memorandum asking for leniency notes that he "provided, in real-time, information" and helped identify "vulnerabilities in significant computer systems."

After Hammond was arrested, Monsegur had his bail revoked after he was discovered making "unauthorized online posting," which led to a seven-month stint in jail in 2012, but he remained on good behavior after being granted bail again.

According to The Associated Press, Monsegur agreed to help after being arrested three years ago in Manhattan after being involved with a hacker group that managed to make off with information from companies such as Nintendo, Fox and others.

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