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Journalist Gave Hackers Keys To LA Times Website

Posted 3/15/2013 6:30 am by
Matthew Keys, tweeting about his own court case.

Matthew Keys, tweeting about his own court case.

In January 2012, 26-year-old Matthew Keys landed a journalist’s dream job as the deputy social media editor for Reuters.  In a journalism world where you need to be online and navigate Twitter trends, this is both a great job and a great position to be in as it’s one of the few positions that the company won’t be cutting for awhile.  However, Keys might have trouble keeping that job as he faces a federal indictment over hacking charges.  Reuters’ Matthew Keys is charged with giving hackers access to the Tribune Company’s internal servers.  The anonymous hackers used their access to edit multiple stories on the LA Times website.

The incident stems to Keys’ employment at KTXL, a Sacramento television station owned by Tribune Company.  Keys was fired from there in October 2010; in December, Keys is alleged to have gone into a hacking chatroom and offered the assembled a username and password to get into the Tribune company’s content management system.  From there, hackers were able to find other accounts and compromise them to make changes and generally have a blast in Tribune’s server system.  Hell hath no fury like a journalist scorned, I guess.

He faces up to 10 years in prison.  Keys is being charged with the following crazy-sounding crimes:  conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, transmitting information to damage a protected computer, and attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer.  The case was investigated by the FBI and he is being prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

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