Reuters Writer Accused of Teaming Up with Anonymous

Dennis Faas's picture

One of Reuters' most prominent social media journalists has been accused of conspiring with 'hacktivist' group Anonymous to infiltrate a news website.

According to reports, New Jersey's Matthew Keys, 26, provided Anonymous with vital login data that allowed Anonymous to bypass the digital security of the Tribune Company.

Tribune Company owns KTXL Fox 40, a TV news station in Sacramento, California, where Keys worked. Keys was terminated by KTXL in October 2010, though it's not known why he was fired. (Source:

Disgruntled Employee Turns to Anonymous

In December 2010 Keys allegedly offered Anonymous information that allowed the group to hack into the Tribune Company's servers.

In the days that followed, Anonymous hackers accessed Tribune's content management system. From there, they were able to alter a news story posted to The Los Angeles Times, a newspaper owned by the Tribune Company.

The hacker reportedly changed the title of a news story to "Pressure builds in House to elect CHIPPY 1337." Other changes were made to the body of the story.

However, shortly afterwards Tribune's security professionals were able to find and lock out the Anonymous hacker.

Keys is alleged to have offered approval for the hacker's work. In fact, law enforcement officials say they are in possession of a transcript from an online conversation that proves Keys' role in the hacking.

Keys has been charged in the Eastern District of California with conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer; transmitting information to damage a protected computer; and attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer.

Conspirator a Times Top Tweeter

Keys, who will be arraigned on April 14, has been working for Reuters since January 2012. Since that time he has become somewhat famous for his use of Twitter to distribute news; in fact, last year Time magazine named him to its list of 140 best Twitter feeds.

Of Keys, Time said: "If it's news, Matthew Keys will probably tweet it out." (Source:

Reuters has not yet commented on the charges brought against Keys.

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