As more and more of our personal information is put online, in “clouds” and on social media, the risk of hackers stealing data becomes increasingly frightening.
That’s why a recent article from Mashablecaught my attention. According to the site, an admitted member of Anonymous, an online hacking group, received the maximum sentence from a U.S. federal court judge in New York City last November.
The judge sentenced 28-year-old Jeremy Hammond to 10 years in prison for his part in hacking the servers of intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. in Dec. 2011. He pleaded guilty to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act earlier in 2013.
Hammond says he felt he was doing the right thing, claiming that everyone should know what governments and corporations are doing behind the scenes.
The FBI stated that Hammond and his co-conspirators stole the credit card information of 60,000 people in the cyber-attack, using the cards to make $700,000 in unauthorized charges.
>Hammond also stole millions of internal emails, forwarding some to WikiLeaks.
FBI agents were able to track down Hammond with the help of former hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, once a leader of the hacking group LulzSec.
Hammond would have likely faced 30 years in prison had he not accepted a plea argument.
As a New York criminal defense attorney, I find this story of cyber-crime truly incredible. We constantly see our work, finances, and personal information moving online, yet often forget to consider the possibility of hackers exploiting our identities.
This case shows the seriousness of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and will hopefully deter more hackers from stealing information.