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Chicago Hacker Tied To Anonymous, LulzSec Investigations Pleads Not Guilty

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 14, 2012 6:20PM

Jeremy Hammond (Cook County Sheriff's Office booking photo.)
Jeremy Hammond, arrested in March in connection with cyberattacks organized by the hacktivist collectives Anonymous and LulzSec, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in a New York courtroom today.

Hammond is one of five charged with conspiracy to commit computer hacking and other charges. Hammond specifically is charged with hacking into the computer system of intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting Inc., stealing the information of 860,000 Stratfor clients, including a former vice president and a former CIA director, whose names were redacted from the original complaint, and publishing the information of 60,000 credit card holders and using stolen credit card information to charge up to $700,000. Hammond has a rap sheet that includes a conviction for burning a 2016 Olympics banner in Daley Plaza; a 2005 conviction for stealing credit card data from a conservative website; an arrest at the Republican National Convention in 2004; marijuana arrests in 2004 and 2010, and a 2009 arrest for violently disrupting a talk by a Holocaust denier.

Hammond's hacking of the conservative website Protest Warrior, was the subject of 2007 articles by both Chicago magazine and the Chicago Reader. He pleaded guilty to hacking into Protest Warrior, and stealing 5,000 credit card numbers and other information. He was sentenced to two years in a medium-security prison in Greenville, Ill. and ordered to pay $5,358 to Protest Warrior.

Prosecutors accuse Hammond of being a member of Anonymous, LulzSec, and an Anonymous offshoot called AntiSec. His code names include "Anarchaos," "yohoho" and "crediblethreat." If convicted, Hammond faces up to 10 years in prison.