DOJ indicts Reuters editor for conspiring with Anonymous hackers

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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A former Web producer and Reuters social media editor was indicted by the Department of Justice on Thursday for allegedly conspiring with the hacktivist collective Anonymous.

The Justice Department announced the charges Thursday, stating that 26-year old Matthew Keys provided hackers associated with the collective the login credentials for a computer server belonging to the Tribune Company, the corporate parent of Sacramento-based television station KTXL FOX 40. Keys had been a Web producer for the station, but was terminated in late October 2010.

The Tribune Company is the parent company of some of the nation’s most well-known newspapers, including Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel and the Baltimore Sun.

The Justice Department said in a press release that Keys was “was charged in the Eastern District of California with one count each of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, transmitting information to damage a protected computer and attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer.”

He could face up to “10 years in prison,  three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 for each count.”

Barrett Brown, the former public face of Anonymous, is facing three federal indictments for his alleged work with the group.

The Associated Press reported March 6 that Brown’s trial was delayed until September at the request of his attorney in order to review the evidence against Brown.

The sentencing of Hector Xavier Monsegur — a former ringleader of the Anonymous spin-off “LulzSec’ during the summer of 2011, and also an FBI informant — was similarly postponed in late February, according to The Guardian.

Monsegur, who faces up to 124 years in prison, went by the online pseudonym “Sabu” and was revealed to have aided the FBI in a sting against five other members of LulzSec connected to the high-profile email hack of the private intelligence firm Stratfor.

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