CRIME

Journalist Matthew Keys Convicted Of Helping Anonymous Hack LA Times

Keys faces up to 25 years in prison.

A Sacramento jury Wednesday convicted journalist Matthew Keys of helping Anonymous hack into the Los Angeles Times and revise a story on its website.

Keys, 28, faces a maximum of 25 years for three felonies related to sharing login information from the Tribune Media Co., which owned the newspaper and the TV station where Keys worked, according to Politico.

Keys repeated the comment when reached by a HuffPost reporter. 

“It’s bullshit,” he said. 

The verdict came on the jury's second day of deliberations. Keys was convicted of conspiracy to cause damage to a protected computer, transmission of malicious code, and attempted transmission of malicious code.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office told Motherboard that prosecutors would probably ask for a sentence of “less than five years.”

Keys was a disgruntled ex-social media editor of a Sacramento station, Fox 40, who wanted to harm his former employer, according to prosecutors. The station lost control of its Twitter and Facebook accounts for several days in 2010 after Keys, who already had been fired, changed passwords, prosecutors said. Keys sent harassing emails to his former boss, authorities said. 

"Go fuck some shit up," Keys said, while passing along the username and password to a hacker. A hacker later changed the headline of a Los Angeles Times story by using information Keys supplied. 

Keys claimed he was acting as an undercover journalist when he contacted members of Anonymous. 

“This is a guy who went where he needed to go to get the story. He went into the sort of dark corners of the Internet. He’s being prosecuted for that, for going to get the story," attorney  Jay Leiderman told HuffPost in 2013.

In an FBI interview, Keys admitted to his involvement. He waived his Miranda rights, apparently hoping to receive favorable treatment in exchange for cooperating, according to Wired.

Keys' attorney planned to appeal, arguing that prosecutors overreached by charging Keys for what amounted to minor damage. 

Federal prosecutors indicted Keys in 2013, when he was a deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters. 

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