A Reuters journalist in the US has been charged of conspiring with the infamous hacker group “Anonymous” to deface the website of the Los Angeles Times in 2010.
Matthew Keys, 26, currently deputy media editor for Reuters, was yesterday charged by the US Justice Department of conspiring with hackers.
At that time Keys worked for a Sacramento-based TV station KTXL FOX 40’s, owned by the Tribune Company, where he was web producer until October, 2010, when he was terminated from his job.
The three-count indictment alleges that in December, 2010, Keys provided members of the hacker group “Anonymous” with log-in credentials for a computer server belonging to KTXL FOX 40’s corporate parent, the Tribune Company.
Tribune also owns the Los Angeles Times.
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 attempted to regain access for that hacker, and when he learned that the hacker had made changes to a Los Angeles Times page, he responded by saying, “nice”, according to the indictment.
If convicted, Keys faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $ 250,000 for each count.