Feeds

Hammond pleads guilty to Stratfor hack: 'It's a relief'

Says he won't be cooperating with the Feds, though

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Anonymous member Jeremy Hammond has pleaded guilty to the headline-making December 2011 hack on private intelligence company Stratfor, at a court appearance in New York.

Hammond, 27, of Chicago, Illinois, has been held on remand since his arrest in March 2012. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the computer fraud and abuse act as part of a plea-bargain agreement that means he will not become a co-operating witness and will be free from further federal prosecution for computer hacking offences. He can be expected to face a sentence of up to 10 years behind bars for his part in the Stratfor hack and other Anonymous-inspired operations.

The FBI said that alleged LulzSec ringleader Hector Xavier Monsegur - who agreed to act as an informant following his arrest in June 2011 - had tried to persuade the hackers who carried out the raid to store emails looted from Stratfor on a server controlled by the Feds. Information coaxed out of Hammond by Monsegur led directly to Hammond's arrest, the FBI has since revealed.

Hammond explained, in a message released through his official support website, that he decided to cop a plea rather than contest his case so as to avoid a potential nightmare of continuous subsequent trials even if he was acquitted of this particular offence.

Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.

I have already spent 15 months in prison. For several weeks of that time I have been held in solitary confinement. I have been denied visits and phone calls with my family and friends. This plea agreement spares me, my family, and my community a repeat of this grinding process.

WikiLeaks began publishing emails from Stratfor in February 2012 to expose "how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients".

The whistleblowing site declined to explain how it came by the "Global Intelligence Files" from Stratfor. The dates covered by the emails run from from July 2004 to late December 2011. Hammond and his fellow hacktivists ransacked Stratfor in December 2011. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.