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Hector Monsegur    

Hacker, Former Defacto Head of Anonymous and High Profile Federal Asset

Anonymous is among the world's biggest online vigilante groups. Its members break into the computer systems of companies and governments. Hector Monsegur was one of the group's most effective operatives. He was instrumental in steering cyber-attacks on targets including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Sony and the U.S. Senate. In 2011 he infiltrated the Tunisian government's Web site in support of protesters at the height of the Arab Spring. Later that year, he was apprehended after hacking into an FBI affiliate. He became an informant, allowing the government to log his actions as he engaged in hacking activities with his former piers. The FBI says he has helped them prevent more than 300 cyber- attacks in systems controlled by the military and NASA”. Charlie Rose

Better known by his online alias “Sabu”, Hector Monsegur is the most controversial hacker of this generation – both the brash voice behind the Anonymous/LulzSec hacker collectives as well as a Federal asset. Monsegur’s story is more tangled and complicated than many know. He grew up in the projects on the Lower East Side of New York in a family trapped in a world of poverty and drugs. His mother left him when he was young which led to a close relationship with the rest of his family and the eventual adoption of his two nieces whom he raised from when they were little girls. Trying to find a better life for himself and his nieces, Monsegur found that his computer skills could empower him far above his socioeconomic barriers and his 9th grade education – but also led him into the dark world of hacking. Monsegur ruled the “hacktivist” scene breaching targets almost daily – from Nintendo, to News Corp, to Middle Eastern governments to the very security firms supposedly protecting against hackers like him. That is until the FBI closed in...

Threatened with his nieces being taken away from him, Hector began to cooperate with the FBI providing them intelligence on vulnerabilities in order to prevent future hacks as Anonymous rampaged through hundreds of targets. In light of his cooperation and the many threats he and his family faced afterwards -- his eventual prison sentence was reduced to the seven months pre-trial detention time he had served along with house arrest and probation.

Monsegur has now exchanged his hacker “black-hat” with a “white-hat”. He has helped the FBI prevent some of the same kinds of cyberattacks he himself had helped orchestrate. Now, as a white-hat hacker he is helping the cybersecurity industry protect their clients. He uses his skills by penetrating the networks of major retailers, credit card companies and dozens of others by helping find their cyber vulnerabilities... be it trojan horses, phishing attacks, or weak password protected wi-fi networks. “I’m not ex-LuzSec, I’m not ex-FBI, I’m a security researcher,” says Monsegur. “Sabu was a character. That man doesn’t exist anymore. The person sitting in front of you today is all about business, taking care of his family, paying bills.” Determined to utilize his talents, Monsegur is now Director of Assessment Services at Rhino Security Labs, with large corporations and governments as his clients, while developing a book and film on his life. Monsegur refused to let his difficult childhood stop him – and wants to help others growing up like him see computer skills as a way to rise above their place in life – to not fall into the dark world of hacking – but to use their empowering skills for the good of others.

Speech Topics


From High School drop out to Hacker to FBI informant autobiographical lecture

6 months of high school, 8 months as informant, 20 years hacking Why I was called the defacto head of Anonymous: Hint: Wired/Vice/ARS Technica Inditements for PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Federal contractors, Tunisia, Algeria, Zimbabwe, FBI Non Profits, Bethesda (Gaming Company), Nintendo, US Senate, PBS/Frontline Getting caught A walk through what a FBI Inditement looks like, and what to do when you get yours. Bringing dictatorships to its knees and fueling The Arab Spring Dealing with Wikileaks and Julian Assange My definition of an “informant” ain’t your definition From Black Hat to White Black: My life today

The Hackers Manifesto: The A-Z on hacking

History of hacking What makes hacking appealing to people Choosing targets Hacktavisim: Hacking for a good cause Infamy: I’m not a geek, dude. Snowden Wikileaks Anonymous Spying on those who spy on you: State Sponsored Hacking Greatest hacks and how they were done: Sony, Tunisia, Visa/MasterCard, US Government, and the ones you never heard of. Hack Olympics: The quest to out do your peers How hacking tools work: Hackers Hardware and software

The history of hacking as told through the top 10 hacks done to date.

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