According to a Department of Justice press release, Matthew Keys, a 26-year-old prominent social media editor at Reuters has been indicted for allegedly conspiring with the group Anonymous by providing credentials to a Tribune Company server that led to the defacement of a Los Angeles Times news feature in 2011. Here’s what you need to know about Matthew Keys.
1. Matthew Keys Was Indicted For Allegedly Conspiring With Anonymous
Matthew Keys was indicted for allegedly conspiring with the hacker group Anonymous and providing them with the credentials to a Tribune Company server that led to the group altering one of the company’s website’s online news article. In December 2010, Keys allegedly joined a chat under the alias “AESCracked” and offered members of Anonymous the login information to the Tribune server.
The following is the full indictment:
2. He Was Terminated From the Tribune-Owned TV station Two Months Earlier
Keys worked as a web producer with KTXL, a Tribune-owned television station in Sacramento, California, until he was terminated in October. Two months later the accused provided the hacker group with the login information and encouraged Anonymous members to “go f— some s— up.”
3. One of the Anonymous Members Altered a Los Angeles Times News Feature
Over the next few days, one of the hackers accessed the Tribune Company server and altered a news feature on the Los Angeles Times website, which is owned by Tribune. The Anonymous hacker changed the article to the following:
Pressure builds in house to elect CHIPPY 1337.
House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer sees ‘very good things’ in the deal cut which will see uber skid Chippy 1337 take his rightful place, as head of the Senate, reluctant House Democrats told to SUCK IT UP.
By CHIPPYS NO1 FAN
4. He Was Outed on Twitter Two Years Ago
Two years ago one of the most high profile hackers, who goes from the name “Sabu,” outed Keys on Twitter.
http://tinyurl.com/mattkeysexposed AESCracked/Matt Keys was former producer for Tribune sites. Gave full control of LATimes.com to hackers.
— The Real Sabu (@anonymouSabu) March 22, 2011
The hacker posted the message just two months before his own arrest. Federal officials declined to comment on whether Sabu assisted them in their investigation of Keys.
5. Keys is a Social Media Editor for Reuters
Keys is now a social media editor for Thomson Reuters and has held the position since January 2012. According to Keys’ Facebook page, he works out of the company’s New York office where “I get paid to use Twitter and Facebook at work.”
6. He is One of TIME’s Top 140 Twitter Users
Keys was named as Time Magazine’s top 140 Twitter users. The 26-year-old has a very strong internet presence and over 24,000 followers.
“If it’s news, Matthew Keys will probably tweet it out,” Time said about Keys.
7. The Accused Tweeted About His Indictment
I am fine. I found out the same way most of you did: From Twitter. Tonight I’m going to take a break. Tomorrow, business as usual.
— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) March 14, 2013
8. Reuters Responded to the Charges Against Keys
“Thomson Reuters is committed to obeying the rules and regulations in every jurisdiction in which it operates,” a spokesperson said. “Any legal violations, or failures to comply with the company’s own strict set of principles and standards, can result in disciplinary action. We would also observe the indictment alleges the conduct occurred in December 2010; Mr. Keys joined Reuters in 2012, and while investigations continue we will have no further comment.”
9. His Arraignment is Scheduled for April 14
10. Keys Faces Up to 25 Years in Prison
According to the press release issued by the Department of Justice, Keys faces up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.
“Each of the two substantive counts carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.”