Jeremy Hammond, aka "Anarchaos," of hacker collective LulzSec has today plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to engage in computer hacking. Hammond was arrested last year after Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka "Sabu," cooperated with the FBI in investigations of LulzSec members.
Although implicated in several other hacking incidents, Hammond is being charged in connection with an attack on the company Stratfor Global Intelligence Service in which he stole credit card information. He then went on to use the stolen card numbers to make more than $700,000 in fraudulent charges.
Backed by the FBI, Monsegur convinced Hammond and other LulzSec members to use a disguised FBI computer to store the stolen data, reports the New York Times. According to the FBI complaint, the hackers transferred 60,000 credit card numbers and 860,000 Stratfor client records, in addition to employee emails and other financial data to the provided server.
Before his arrest in 2012, Hammond had already served 24 months in prison for stealing credit card numbers from a political group’s servers in 2006. He also admitted to Judge Loretta A. Preska of the Federal District Court in Manhattan that he had gained access to several other organizations' systems, including the FBI’s Virtual Academy and Vanguard Defense Industries, a company that makes drones.
Hammond agreed to pay up to $2.5 million in restitution for his crimes, and faces up to 10 years in prison. Other LulzSec members were recently sentenced in related hacking cases.
In a personal statement concerning his guilty plea posted today on the website freejeremy.net, Hammond expressed relief about being able to speak freely regarding the incident and spoke to why he accepted the plea. He describes himself as an online activist, which is in stark contrast to the New York Times report, and makes no mention of the $700,000 in fraudulent credit card charges.