SACRAMENTO (CN) – A former Tribune employee accused of helping the hacker group Anonymous break into Los Angeles Times’ website was convicted of felonies by a federal jury Wednesday.
After two days of deliberation, the jury found Matthew Keys guilty of three felonies for providing Anonymous with login credentials to Los Angeles Times servers while employed by Tribune in 2010.
Keys, 28, faces up to 25 years in prison at his January sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said Keys and others must learn that there are consequences for carrying out “vendettas against former employers.”
“Although he did no lasting damage, Keys did interfere with the business of news organizations, and caused the Tribune Co. to spend thousands of dollars protecting its servers,” Wagner said in a statement.
Keys was charged in 2013 with giving Los Angeles Times information to hackers in a chat room. According to trial evidence, Anonymous used the information in 2010 to make changes to Web versions of a Times news feature and temporarily caused the mobile site to go offline.
Keys also was accused of changing the passwords of fellow employees while he worked for Tribune at KTXL Fox 40 in Sacramento and sending “disparaging emails” about the company to KTXL viewers. Keys left Tribune in 2010, which owns both KTXL and Los Angeles Times. Reuters hired Keys in 2012 as a deputy social media editor but quickly fired him once the indictment was handed down. He has worked since then as a freelancer, according to his LinkedIn account.
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