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Hacker Sabu unmasked yet again

Person identified as hacker by rival hacker says he's not involved in "that hacking stuff."

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills
2 min read
AnonymouSabu tweet after a rival hacker claimed to have unmasked Sabu as a person in Portugal.
AnonymouSabu tweet after a rival hacker claimed to have unmasked Sabu as a person in Portugal.

A hacker whose handle on Twitter is "th3j35t3r"--the Jester--claims to have revealed the identity of a main operative involved in the Anti-Sec and Anonymous hacking campaigns. But it's not the first time this operative has supposedly been unmasked, and it probably won't be the last.

In fact, unmasking "Sabu" has become such a hot sport that someone even created what appears to be a parody site about it.

Today, the Jester released documents that the hacker says indicate that Sabu is one Hugo Carvalho of Portugal. The documents (or "dox" in hacker parlance) appear to show chat logs in which Sabu lets slip (really?) his personal domain, which was registered to someone in the U.K. in 2002 and was sold in 2009 to someone using the handle "Visigod" and transferred to an entity called Host Squadron in Sao Marcos, Portugal. Then there are links to Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and other accounts belonging to a Hugo Carvalho, including a LinkedIn page that lists him as chief executive of Host Squadron.

But Sabu could just be a master of disguises. The Jester even acknowledges this, noting that Sabu has been outed as "Hector Xavier Montsegur" among other names, and quoting a tweet from Sabu, who goes by AnonymouSabu on Twitter: "Disinfo's my game."

AnonymouSabu, who tweets in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, did not respond to a request via Twitter for comment. But someone responded to an e-mail sent to the only contact address on the Host Squadron Web site--which is basically the only information provided on the site.

"I'm Hugo Carvalho, and the story behind me and this nick guy Sabu is a complete lie. Someone stole my photo from one of my Web sites and started to spread the rumor that I was affiliated with this hacking group," the e-mail said. "Feel free to post this e-mail in your Web site and state that there is no relation between me and anyone related to that hacking stuff."

AnonymouSabu, meanwhile, has been playing with his tormenters. On Monday, AnonymouSabu tweeted: "OK You found me. I am Hugo. I am in Portugal. Next question is: Can you stop me? ;)"

And today AnonymouSabu tweeted: "The gobernment of Portugal will not extradite me." A short while later the account went silent and several of AnonymouSabu's Twitter cohorts tweeted that AnonymouSabu had hit the daily Twitter limit designed to prevent spam.

Thus ends another day in the labyrinthine realm of hackerville.

It's all a bit brain bending, like a story by Jorge Luis Borges or Julio Cortazar--or that old paradox: "This sentence is false."