Matthew Keys Gets 2 Years in Prison in Los Angeles Times Hacking Case
April 14, 2016
Shah Sheikh (1294 articles)

Matthew Keys Gets 2 Years in Prison in Los Angeles Times Hacking Case

A California journalist was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in federal prison for helping to hack the website of The Los Angeles Times in 2010.

The journalist, Matthew Keys, who was a deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters at the time, was convicted in October of providing the hacking group Anonymous with a user name and password to log in to computers owned by the Tribune Company, parent company of The Times.

A federal indictment said that Mr. Keys, 29, had encouraged the hackers, with whom he worked in December 2010, to log in to a Tribune server “to make unauthorized changes to websites” and “to damage computer systems” owned by the company.

The hackers changed the Times headline “Pressure Builds in House to Pass Tax-Cut Package” to “Pressure Builds in House to Elect CHIPPY 1337,” a reference to another hacking group.

Mr. Keys previously was a web producer at KTXL Fox 40, a Sacramento television station owned by Tribune. Federal prosecutors in Sacramento said that Mr. Keys, of Vacaville, Calif., was a disgruntled worker striking back at his former employer.

According to court documents, Mr. Keys changed the access credentials of Fox 40 employees, interfering with their ability to access company servers, and obtained email addresses for Fox 40 viewers, to whom he sent disparaging emails about the company.

The charges had shocked social media circles where Mr. Keys was considered a wunderkind of new media. He was named one of Time’s 140 best Twitter feeds. The indictment also sparked protests against the 1984 law under which he was charged, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

In an essay posted on Medium on Wednesday, Mr. Keys wrote that “the past three years have been exceptionally challenging — for me personally and for my professional career as a journalist.”

He added: “I am innocent, and I did not ask for this fight. Nonetheless, I hope that our combined efforts help bring about positive change to rules and regulations that govern our online conduct.”

He also posted his reaction to the sentence on Twitter:

Source | NYT