Journalist convicted of helping Anonymous hack the LA Times

Matthew Keys will appeal, according to his lawyer

A journalist accused of helping a rogue hacking group briefly take control of the LA Times' website was convicted by a federal jury in California on Wednesday.

Matthew Keys, 28, of Vacaville, California, was convicted of conspiracy to make unauthorized changes to a computer, transmitting malicious code and attempted transmission of malicious code, according to the Department of Justice.

One of Keys' attorneys, Jay Leiderman, wrote on Twitter that "we'll proceed forward to sentencing and look forward to appealing this verdict."

The case against Keys has drawn wide attention, in part for his later employment as a social media editor for Reuters. The company fired him in April 2013 shortly after he was indicted.

Before Reuters, Keys worked for KTXL Fox 40, a Sacramento-based broadcaster owned by the Tribune Company. After he was terminated from the company, Keys began communicating with members of Anonymous, a now largely disbanded group notable for its high-profile hacks in 2010 and 2011.

Keys was accused of passing login credentials in early December 2010 to an Anonymous member that eventually enabled access to a content management system used by the LA Times, according to the indictment.

A news story on the Times' website was subsequently altered, although system administrators quickly detected the changes.

Keys could face a lengthy sentence, which drew a comment from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who recently started a Twitter account.

He wrote: "For defacing an @LATimes article for 40 minutes, journo @MatthewKeysLive faces 25 years. Years. #PrisonPolicy."

In a later response on Twitter directed at a Vice journalist, Snowden wrote, "I'm not sure any quantity of years is going to sound appropriate for a crime whose impact was measured in minutes."

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about Department of JusticeNational Security AgencyTwitter

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jeremy Kirk

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts