Former Web producer indicted in hacking plot

March 14, 2013
A masked hacker, part of the Anonymous group, hacks the French presidential Elysee Palace website on January 20, 2012. A media online producer has been indicted on charges of conspiring with the hacktivist group Anonymous to break into the website of the station's parent the Tribune Co., officials said Thursday.

A media online producer has been indicted on charges of conspiring with the hacktivist group Anonymous to break into the website of the station's parent the Tribune Co., officials said Thursday.

The Justice Department said Matthew Keys, 26, had been charged in California with conspiracy to transmit information with intent to damage a protected computer and related charges.

Officials said Keys helped members of Anonymous get into a at KTXL 40, which in turn provided the access to the station's corporate parent, the Tribune Co.

A hacker then used the credentials provided by Keys to log into the Tribune server, and ultimately made changes to the Web version of a news feature, according to the Justice Department.

Keys was employed by the Sacramento, California-based as its web producer, but was terminated in late October 2010. He is now a deputy social media editor at Reuters, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

The three-count indictment alleges Keys provided the log-in data in December 2010 and encouraged the Anonymous members to disrupt the website.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 for each count.

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