Hack helped hackers

anonA US court has decided that journalist Matthew Keys helped members of the Anonymous hacking collective break into his former employers’ computers.

Keys, 28, was indicted in 2013 for conspiracy to cause damage to a protected computer and two other counts, after being accused of giving hackers access to the Tribune computer systems in December 2010. Keys had just left a job at a Tribune-owned television station after words with a dispute with a supervisor.

The hackers then went on to change a story on the Tribune’s Los Angeles Times website.

Keys denied the charges and his brief Tor Ekeland said he would appeal the verdict.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 2016. The Justice Department has not determined what sentence it will request, but it will likely be less than five years, spokeswoman Lauren Horwood said.

Prosecutors claimed Keys urged on the hackers by giving them a password. But Keys’s lawyer had told jurors he was operating as a professional reporter trying to gather information about members of Anonymous.

The events occurred before Keys joined Thomson Reuters as a Reuters.com editor in 2012. A month after Keys was charged, he said Reuters dismissed him.