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Journalist charged with helping Anonymous hack L.A. Times, TV station

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matthew keys

Image from @thematthewkeys/Twitter

A social media editor for Reuters was charged Thursday with helping the group Anonymous hack into a Sacramento television station website and altering a Los Angeles Times online article.

Matthew Keys, 26, was charged with 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, according to a press release from the U.S. attorney’s office. Keys could not immediately be reached for comment.

The incident occurred in 2010, prosecutors said, when Keys worked at Fox 40, a Tribune Co.-owned TV station. Tribune also owns the Los Angeles Times.

The indictment says Keys provided members of the hacker group Anonymous with log-in credentials for a computer server belonging to KTXL FOX 40’s corporate parent, the Tribune Co.

According to the indictment, Keys identified himself on an Internet chat forum as a former Tribune Co. employee.

After providing log-in credentials, Keys allegedly encouraged the Anonymous members to disrupt the website.  According to the indictment, at least one of the computer hackers used the credentials provided by Keys to log into the Tribune Co. server, and ultimately that hacker made changes to the web version of a Los Angeles Times news feature.

He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

— Los Angeles Times staff writer

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