The Chicago-based hacker who once threatened to burn down the White House
and took credit for an devastating computer attack on intelligence
company Stratfor made his first appearance in a New York federal
courtroom, after his March 5 arrest.
Jeremy Hammond, a 27-year-old with close
ties to hacker group LulzSec, wore a bright orange T-shirt under
prison-issue navy blue garb and glanced furtively around the
magistrate’s courtroom as he was led in, his face pale and his long hair
unkempt. Hammond faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer
hacking, computer hacking and access device fraud.
But while his computer persona, which
emerged under online names such as “Anarchaos” and “crediblethreat” and
“tylerknowsthis,” showcased virulent anti-government beliefs, Hammond
was respectful in court before the magistrate, who frequently handles
early proceedings before cases go to district judges.
“Yes, your honor,” Hammond told Magistrate
Judge James Francis when asked if a financial affidavit submitted on his
behalf was accurate. Francis approved Hammond's petition to have
attorney Liz Fink represent him.
Hammond chuckled when Fink asked a
prosecutor if today was the Ides of March and said, “Et tu Brutus?” a
possible reference to the betrayal Hammond might have felt at learning
he and other hackers were undone by LulzSec leader-turned government
informant Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu.”
Monsegur’s FBI handler was present but declined to comment after the proceeding.
Hammond faces up to 10 years in prison and
$250,000 in fines on the hacking-related charges and 15 years and
$250,000 on the fraud charge if convicted. Francis ordered him held,
though Fink said she expects to apply for bond before the next court
date, which is April 2.
“This is going to be fun,” Fink said afterward of the case, noting the hacker has a large group of supporters in New York.
Hammond took credit for the massive attack
on the global intelligence company Stratfor and even embraced being
branded a “terrorist” in a speech at a 2004 hacker convention caught on
video. Chat logs first reported by FoxNews.com captured the dark and
disturbing views of Hammond, whose mother said he has an IQ of 168 and
called him a “genius without wisdom,” in a Chicago Tribune interview.
In the discussions with an unknown audience,
Hammond hailed the 2007 book “How Nonviolence Protects the State,” by
self-proclaimed anarchist Peter Gelderloos, praising it for encouraging
violence and sabotage.
“I didn't start the conversation about burning the white house (sic), but I'll finish it,” vowed Hammond in one undated post.
In another post, Hammond calls for
“organized, coordinated attacks against targets who are more directly
responsible for our miserable conditions,” and proposes “a toast to the
rich! with our choice of cocktail.”
Perhaps most disturbing is this chilling dialogue about 9/11:
“So what's the best way to celebrate 9/11? A
jenga tournament!” Hammond posted. “We played a big 9/11 show on
saturday, we had a pinata of the world trade towers … it was filled with
candy and miniature plastic army men.”
“This guy is not some harmless kid living in
his parents’ basement,” a law enforcement source said of Hammond. “He’s
got a history and potential for violence.”
In 2005, Hammond formed a group he dubbed
the “Internet Liberation Front.” He hacked into a conservative website
and stole 5,000 credit card numbers which he intended to use to make
donations to liberal causes, according to authorities. Although he was
caught before he could carry out the plan, which prompted comparisons to
Robin Hood, he served two years in prison.
Hammond was arrested again in 2010 for
allegedly throwing a banner into a fire at a protest against the
Olympics coming to Chicago. He was given 18 months on probation.
Authorities believe Hammond was the main
player in the Stratfor hack last December, in which 5 million emails
were stolen and handed over to WikiLeaks.
According to the federal complaint against Hammond, the attack was
designed to bankrupt Stratfor, a Texas-based company that works with
intelligence agencies around the world.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/15/lulzsec-linked-hacker-who-threatened-to-burn-white-house-appears-in-court/#ixzz1peIoEHni
In: Regional News
Tags: lulzsec, hacker, anonymous, lulz, court, whitehouse, new york
Location: New York, New York, United States (load item map)
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