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Jeremy Hammond pleads guilty in federal computer hacking case

Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 1:48 p.m. CST
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Jeremy Hammond, 28, formerly of Glendale Heights.

LOMBARD – Glenbard East High School alumnus Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday of conspiracy to engage in computer hacking after being involved in the December 2011 hack of a government-contracted, global intelligence firm.

He also admitted to being involved in several other hacks, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Hammond, 28, originally of Glendale Heights, was arrested in March 2011 and charged with crimes related to a large-scale hacking operation against major corporations and government entities.

Using the alias "Anarchaos," Hammond helped hack Strategic Forecasting, Inc., or Stratfor, in Austin. He and his accomplices stole emails from Stratfor and account information from about 860,000 of the company's subscribers or clients. They also stole credit card information from 60,000 credit card users and used this information to make more than $700,000 in unauthorized charges, authorities said.

Hammond completed the hack with members of AntiSec, an off-shoot of Anonymous, a network of computer hackers. Charges against the other four hackers are still pending.

For conspiracy to engage in computer hacking, Hammond faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and has agreed to pay up to $2.5 million in restitution.

This won't be Hammond's first stint behind bars. In December 2006, he was sentenced to two years in federal prison after being convicted of hacking a politically conservative website and stealing credit card information.

Hammond will be formally sentenced Sept. 6.

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