The Department of Justice has indicted a former Web producer for Fox affiliate KTXL Sacramento for conspiring with hacker group Anonymous to break into parent Tribune Co.'s Web site and related crimes that could carry a maximim of 25 years in prison.
Matthew Keys of Secaucus, N.J., was been charged in the Eastern District of California with three counts: 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 conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The other two have maximums of 10 years and similar fines and supervised release.
According to DOJ, in December 2010, Keys gave Anonymous members log-in credentials for a Tribune server. He had been terminated in late October. Ultimately, DOJ said, at least one of the hackers used that password to log into the server and change a Web version of an L.A. Times feature story.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California.