Reuters Social Media Editor Charged In Hacking Conspiracy - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Reuters Social Media Editor Charged In Hacking Conspiracy

Posted: Updated:

(AP) A deputy social media editor for Reuters vowed that Friday would be ‘‘business as usual'' despite charges of conspiring with the notorious hacking group Anonymous to deface an online story of the Los Angeles Times.

Federal authorities allege that in December 2010, Matthew Keys, 26, provided hackers with login information to access the computer system of the Tribune Co., the parent company of the Times that also owns a Sacramento television station Keys was fired from months before.

Investigators allege that Keys gave a hacker named ‘‘Sharpie'' the information in an Internet chat room frequented by hackers and urged the hacker to do some damage to the Tribune Co.

According to the indictment, Sharpie altered a Times news story posted Dec. 14 and 15, 2010, to read ‘‘Pressure builds in House to elect CHIPPY 1337,'' a reference to another hacking group. ‘‘Chippy 1337'' claimed responsibility for defacing the website of video game publisher Eidos in 2011.

Keys' Facebook page says he worked as an online news producer for the Sacramento FOX affiliate KTXL from June 2008 to April 2010.

The news agency Reuters hired Keys in 2012 as a deputy editor for social media and he was at work Thursday. He didn't return a phone call or respond to email messages seeking comment. Reuters spokesman David Girardin said the company was ‘‘aware'' of the indictment when Keys was hired last year, but he declined further comment.

‘‘I am fine,'' Keys tweeted Thursday, hours after his federal indictment was announced. ‘‘I found out the same way most of you did: From Twitter. Tonight I'm going to take a break. Tomorrow, business as usual.''

The indictment alleges that a second attempt to hack the Times was unsuccessful.

Federal prosecutors allege in court papers that a legendary hacker and Anonymous leader named ‘‘Sabu'' offered advice on how to infiltrate Tribune's systems. The FBI unmasked Sabu when it arrested Hector Xavier Monsegur on June 7, 2011. Monsegur secretly worked as an FBI informant until federal officials announced that he helped them arrest five other alleged hackers on March 6, 2012.

Federal officials declined to comment on whether Sabu assisted in the investigation of Keys.

The day after it was announced that Sabu was an FBI informant, Keys wrote a story for Reuters about ‘‘infiltrating'' the hackers' chat room.

Keys is charged with one count each of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, as well as transmitting and attempting to transmit that information. If convicted, the New Jersey native faces a combined 25 years prison and a $500,000 fine if sentenced to the maximum for each count.

He is scheduled for arraignment April 12 in Sacramento.

Matthew Keys, deputy social media editor for Reuters.com, is seen in his online profile in this undated photo.

REUTERS

Matthew Keys, deputy social media editor for Reuters.com, is seen in his online profile in this undated photo.

The indictment comes after recent hacks into the computer systems of two other U.S. media companies that own The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Both newspapers reported in February that their computer systems had been infiltrated by China-based hackers, likely to monitor media coverage the Chinese government deems important.

Anonymous and its offshoot, Lulz Security, have been linked to a number of high-profile computer attacks and crimes, including many that were meant to embarrass governments, federal agencies and corporate giants. They have been connected to attacks that took data from FBI partner organization InfraGard, and they've jammed websites of the CIA and the Public Broadcasting Service.

A computer security specialist said the LA Times attack would be an unusual hack if the government's charges are accurate.

‘‘This is first case where I've heard of someone leaking stuff to Anonymous to have a site defaced, instead of defacing it himself,'' said Clifford Neuman, director of University of Southern California Center for Computer Systems Security. ‘‘He found some way to achieve his ends of defacing the website without having to do it himself.''

A spokesman for the Chicago-based Tribune Co. declined to comment.

While Keys did not directly address the federal charges Thursday through his voluminous Twitter feed, commentary from his more than 23,500 followers and even a story about the news indictment were retweeted from his account.

He did not address the issue on his Facebook page, where his last posting Thursday was about the best way to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

According to Keys' Facebook profile, he is single, lives in New York City and works at Thomson Reuters Corp.'s New York office, where ‘‘I get paid to use Twitter and Facebook at work.''

London-based Reuters has been expanding its business in the United States. This year, six of the Tribune's seven newspapers dropped The Associated Press for Reuters, citing cost savings. The Los Angeles Times stayed with AP.

  • Share ThisMore>>

  • Photo Gallery: Our Favorite Cosplay Girls From Anaheim WonderCon

    Photo Gallery: Our Favorite Cosplay Girls From Anaheim WonderCon

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:56:25 GMT
    It was Easter weekend and that meant that Anaheim's WonderCon was in town. Check out this gallery of our favorite female cosplayers!
    It was Easter weekend and that meant that Anaheim's WonderCon was in town. Check out this gallery of our favorite female cosplayers!
  • Photo Gallery: Our Favorite Male Cosplayers From WonderCon

    Our Favorite Male Cosplayers From WonderCon

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:44:55 GMT
    It was Easter weekend and that meant that Anaheim's WonderCon was in town. Check out this gallery of our favorite male cosplayers!
    It was Easter weekend and that meant that Anaheim's WonderCon was in town. Check out this gallery of our favorite male cosplayers!
  • Teen Okay after Hiding In Wheel Well Of Jet Bound For Hawaii

    Teen Okay after Hiding In Wheel Well Of Jet Bound For Hawaii

    Teen Okay after Hiding In Wheel Well Of Jet Bound For Hawaii

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:21 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:21:57 GMT
    Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen. "Doesn't even remember the flight," FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night. "It's amazing he survived that." The boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport Sunday morning with no identification, Simon said...
    Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen. "Doesn't even remember the flight," FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night. "It's amazing he survived that." The boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport Sunday morning with no identification, Simon said...
  • Tech NewsTech NewsMore>>

  • Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:44 PM EDT2014-04-23 17:44:52 GMT
    Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming...
    Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its...
  • AT&T explores expansion of super-fast Internet

    AT&T explores expansion of super-fast Internet

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-04-22 20:34:27 GMT
    AT&T says it will expand super-fast Internet services to as many as 100 additional cities in 25 metropolitan areas.
    AT&T plans a major expansion of super-fast Internet services to cover as many as 100 municipalities in 25 metropolitan areas.
  • Apple offering free recycling of all used products

    Apple offering free recycling of all used products

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-04-22 20:34:24 GMT
    Apple is offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.
    Apple is offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices