The Federal Bureau of Investigation charged Matthew Keys, currently a deputy editor for social media at Reuters’ New York office, for helping the notorious hacking group “Anonymous.” Keys disclosed the login information to hackers in an attempt to deface a Log Angeles Times news story on December 14 and 15, 2010. Federal authorities said he was furious over being laid off from his job at KTXL Fox 40 back then.
Matthew Keys is an ex-employee of Tribune Company (PINK:TRBAA) (PINK:TRBAB). The hacker, whom FBI identified as “Sharpie” had allegedly used the information to change the title of a news story to include the name of a hacking group. Keys was a web producer for the television station KTXL Fox 40, which is owned by Tribune Co. The 26-year old worked there from June 2008 to April 2010 before being fired during the company’s bankruptcy proceedings. Tribune Co. also owns Los Angeles Times whose login information Keys posted on a hackers’ chat room.
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Matthew Keys started working at Reuters in 2012. After the indictment, he posted on his Twitter page @TheMatthewKeys: “I am fine. I found out the same way most of you did: From Twitter. Tonight I’m going to take a break. Tomorrow, business as usual.” Keys didn’t respond when the Wall Street Journal tried to contact him.
The federal indictment states that the hacker “Sharpie” changed the title of a story to “Pressure builds in House to elect CHIPPY 1337.” Chippy 1337 is a different hacker that defaced the Website of Eidos, a video game producer, in 2011.
Sabu, an infamous hacker and leader of Anonymous hacking group, had advised on how to penetrate into Tribune’s systems. The Federal Bureau of Investigation unmasked Sabu with the help of a secret FBI informant. However, the authorities didn’t reveal whether Sabu helped in the investigation of Matthew keys.
FBI charged Keys with one count of conspiracy to transmit information and one count of attempting to transmit that information, according to the ComputerWorld. If found guilty, Keys may face $750,000 and a combined 25 years of prison. He will appear before Sacramento federal court on April 12.
In recent months, the Websites of several U.S. media companies including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have been hacked by China-based hackers, to monitor the media coverage of important Chinese issues.