Stratfor hacker pleads guilty

US hacktivist Jeremy Hammond pleads guilty to accessing computers of law enforcement agencies and government contractors illegally

US hacktivist Jeremy Hammond faces 10 years in jail after pleading guilty to accessing computers of law enforcement agencies and government contractors illegally.

He was arrested in March 2012 with the help of hacktivist-turned-FBI informer Hector Xavier Monsegur in connection with an attack on US-based global intelligence firm Stratfor carried out in December 2011.

Monsegur, known as Sabu, co-operated with investigators to infiltrate hacktivst collective Anonymous and its offshoot LulzSec after his arrest in August 2011.

He admitted involvement in cyber attacks against the media groups Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Hammond was accused of stealing a huge database of information relating to more than 850,000 people, including 221 UK military officials, through his attack on Stratfor.

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He was also accused of using the credit card numbers of Stratfor clients to make charges of at least $700,000, according to the Guardian.

WikiLeaks later published much of the material Hammond is accused of having stolen.

Hammond’s brother Jason said, in a statement: "Jeremy has taken responsibility for what he's done, but he should not face such a harsh sentence for an act of protest from which he did not personally benefit."

Sentencing has been scheduled to take place on 6 September.

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