Matthew Keys, a deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters, was charged for allegedly conspiring with hacker group Anonymous to hack his previous employer, The Tribune Company, according to a Department of Justice release Thursday.
Keys, 26, was employed by Sacramento-based television station KTXL FOX 40 as its web producer, but was terminated in late October 2010. The DOJ indictment alleges that in December 2010 Keys provided members of the hacker group Anonymous with log-in credentials for a computer server belonging to the station's corporate parent, the Tribune Company.
From the DOJ document:
"According to the indictment, Keys identified himself on an Internet chat forum as a former Tribune Company employee and provided members of Anonymous with a login and password to the Tribune Company server. After providing log-in credentials, Keys allegedly encouraged the Anonymous members to disrupt the website. According to the indictment, at least one of the computer hackers used the credentials provided by Keys to log into the Tribune Company server, and ultimately that hacker made changes to the web version of a Los Angeles Times news feature.
The indictment further alleges that Keys had a conversation with the hacker who claimed credit for the defacement of the Los Angeles Times website. The hacker allegedly told Keys that Tribune Company system administrators had thwarted his efforts and locked him out. Keys allegedly attempted to regain access for that hacker, and when he learned that the hacker had made changes to a Los Angeles Times page, Keys responded, 'nice.'"
If convicted, Keys faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of probation and a fine of $250,000 for each count.