Anonymous member given five year jail sentence for aiding in cyber crime

23 Jan 2015

A member of the hacking group Anonymous has been sentenced to just over five years in prison for charges that include aiding in cyber crime.

As reported by Reuters, a federal judge in Dallas, Texas has given 33-year-old freelance journalist Barret Brown 63 months in prison, including the 31 months he has already served.

Brown pleaded guilty in April to being an accessory after the fact for attempting to assist a hacker, hiding two computers from FBI agents who were executing a search warrant, and threatening an FBI agent in a video.

In December 2011, someone Brown knew only as “o” breached the computer network of Austin, Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor and stole confidential data, including credit card details. According to court documents, Brown knew of the incident and removed his own confidential information from the site. He later attempted to get in touch with Stratfor’s management on behalf of the hacker to reduce the damage.

In a statement read in court on Thursday, Brown said that his role was to post a link which had already been made public and claimed that the US government “exposed me to decades of prison time for copying and pasting a link to a publicly available file that other journalists were also linking to without being prosecuted”.

Anonymous have been behind a number of high profile cyber attacks, including the hacking of North Korea’s Twitter and Flickr accounts in 2013.

Gavel on keyboard image via Shutterstock

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic