A hacker goes to jail

By Deborah Jones

The case of Jeremy Hammond, who victimized a private American security firm, is yet another the stranger-than-fiction tales of global surveillance, activism and espionage being churned out lately in the United States.

Hammond, a self-described American anarchist, was sentenced in a U.S. court today to 10+ years in jail for hacking into the servers of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., for which he had pleaded guilty. Hammond wiped information from company computers and stole millions of email messages along with some 60,000 customer credit card numbers. As Wired reports, “The emails went to WikiLeaks, while the credit cards were used by Anonymous to rack up $700,000 in fraudulent donations to non-profit groups.”

Hammond was, according to numerous accounts, directed to target the private security company by an American government informant. Reports the Guardian: “Hammond suggested that the FBI may have manipulated him to carry out hacking attacks on “dozens” of foreign government websites …  he was often directed by a individual known pseudonymously on the web as ‘Sab,’ the leader of the Anonymous-affiliated group Lulzsec, who turned out to be an FBI informant.”

Meantime Hammond’s activities revealed information Stratfor and its powerful corporate clients would likely prefer not be splashed over the pages of WikiLeaks — such as emails amongst activists working on the Bhopal, India, chemical plant leak in 1984, which killed thousands and has had lasting effects.

Hammond now goes to jail. Any bets on what — if any — repercussions Hammond’s victim Stratfor and its clients will suffer? Any bets on when the movie will be released?