US Hacker Gets 10 Years

Jeremy Hammond of Chicago worked with Anonymous

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 15, 2013 5:33 PM CST

(Newser) – A 28-year-old hacker from Chicago who worked with Anonymous got hit with the maximum 10-year sentence today for a series of high-profile cyberattacks, reports the Chicago Tribune. Jeremy Hammond's attorneys presented letters of support from more than 250 people—including Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsburg—but the judge said his long history of hacks (like this of intelligence company Stratfor and this of Arizona police officials) made him deserving of the maximum penalty sought by prosecutors. They cited chatroom logs in which Hammond said he hoped to create "financial mayhem" with his attacks, reports AP.

But now “I think my days of hacking are done," Hammond told the Guardian just before sentencing. "That's a role for somebody else now." In his statement to the court, Hammond said he "targeted law enforcement systems because of the racism and inequality with which the criminal law is enforced." (Read it in full here.) He got arrested after linking with a well-known hacker-turned-informant called Sabu. “It is kind of funny that here they are sentencing me for hacking Stratfor, but at the same time as I was doing that an FBI informant was suggesting to me foreign targets to hit," he says in the Guardian interview. "So you have to wonder how much they really care about protecting the security of websites.”

Jeremy Hammond in a police photo.
Jeremy Hammond in a police photo.   (AP Photo/Cook County Sheriff's Department, File)
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