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Keys denies giving Tribune log-in credentials to Anonymous

Social media editor at Reuters turns to Facebook to criticize charges that he conspired with the hacktivist group to deface the L.A. Times Web site, which belongs to his former employer.

Matthew Keys
Matthew Keys Facebook

Matthew Keys, the deputy social media editor at Reuters who was recently indicted of charges of conspiring with Anonymous, has denied allegations he fed information to the hacktivist group that led to the defacement of the Los Angeles Times Web site.

Prosecutors alleged last week that Keys, a former Web producer for a TV station owned by the Tribune Company, handed over log-in credentials and passwords for the network of his former employer to members of the hacker group a couple of years ago. The Tribune Company also owns the L.A. Times.

The Los Angeles Times site's defacement involved the changing of an article's headline, byline, and sub-headline to include the name "CHIPPY 1337," according to the indictment.

"I did not give a username and a password to anyone," Keys wrote on his Facebook fan page today, addressing each charge by definition. "I did not 'conspire' to 'cause damage to a protected computer.' I did not cause 'transmission of malicious code,' and I did not 'attempt' to cause 'transmission of malicious code.'"

"My attorneys have said much of the same over the past few days, but I feel it might mean more coming from me directly," he concluded.

The indictment claims that Keys, 26, went by the name AESCracked in an Internet chat forum and had conversations with the hacker who claimed to have attacked the Los Angeles Times Web site.

"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," the Department of Justice statement says. "After providing log-in credentials, Keys allegedly encouraged the Anonymous members to disrupt the website."

Keys is scheduled to be arraigned on April 12 in federal court in Sacramento. If found guilty, he faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.

(Via Huffington Post)