The deputy social media editor at Reuters.com, is to be arrested for conspiring with members of the Anonymous hacking collective.
According to his employers, a federal grand jury has indicted Matthew Keys for working with the hackers to break into the computers of his former employer the Tribune.
Apparently it all happened before he joined Thomson Reuters.
Keys faces three charges including a conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer. The plan apparently was to give Anonymous access to Tribune websites.
The hackers edited a story on the Tribune’s Los Angeles Times website.
Keys tweeted that he found out about the charges from Twitter and tomorrow everything will be business as usual.
A Thomson Reuters spokesman said the indictment alleges the conduct occurred in December 2010 and Keys joined Reuters in 2012. They did not say if he was still working for them, but a Thomson Reuters employee at the New York says Keys’ workstation was being dismantled and that his security pass had been deactivated.
Keys became a suspect, because he had been fired in October 2010 and refused to hand over control of the Facebook and Twitter accounts he had run for Fox 40.
Keys told a colleague that he had penetrated an elite chat group used by some of the most sophisticated members of Anonymous.
When the Times story was altered Keys responded “nice,” according to the indictment.
The FBI claims that Keys was playing a double game for weeks before getting kicked out of the chat group. He took screenshots of the hacking group’s chats and sent them to media outlets.
However one of the leading figures of Anonymous, Sabu claimed that Keys “gave full control of LATimes.com to hackers”.
Sabu, AKA Hector Xavier Monsegur, was arrested later in 2011 and turned supergrass while continuing to lead an Anonymous spinoff called LulzSec, according to court documents.