LulzSec, Anonymous hacker gets a decade in the slammer

Thinking of joining the ranks of hacker-activist groups like Anonymous or LulzSec? This might discourage you.

A federal judge just brought the hammer down on Jeremy Hammond (pictured above), a prominent Anonymous and LulzSec hacker. Hammond was sentenced to a decade in prison by by Chief US District Judge Loretta A. Preska, who punished Hammond for his computer hacking guilty plea with the maximum sentence permissible under the law.

Hammond was caught hacking into and stealing information from Strategic Forecasting, a global intelligence firm, which “Provides strategic intelligence on global business, economic, security and geopolitical affairs” according to its website. Hammond’s defense claims that the information leaked as a result of his hacking efforts revealed that the U.S. government hired Strategic Forecasting to spy on activists. However, Hammond and those associated with him ended up publishing email addresses and credit card numbers. The credit card numbers were used to make illegal purchases worth $700,000.

The ten year sentence that Hammond will now serves is one of the strongest sentences issued to any hacktivist. It will be interesting to see whether Preska’s ruling will result in a decrease in such activity on the part of Anonymous and LulzSec. However, it’s worth noting that the death penalty is hardly a deterrent against crime. Prohibition also didn’t stop the flow of alcohol either.

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