Jeremy Hammond, the Bridgeport resident arrested yesterday in connection with the international investigation into hacktivist collectives Anonymous and LulzSec, is no stranger to being investigated by authorities for his computer skills or to being in prison.
According to the Sun-Times, Hammond’s rap sheet includes “a conviction for burning a 2016 Olympics banner in Daley Plaza; a 2005 conviction for stealing credit card data from a conservative website; an arrest at the Republican National Convention in 2004; marijuana arrests in 2004 and 2010, and a 2009 arrest for violently disrupting a talk by a Holocaust denier.”
Hammond’s hacking of the conservative website, called Protest Warrior, was the subject of 2007 articles by both Chicago magazine and the Reader. Hammond pleaded guilty to hacking into Protest Warrior and stealing 5,000 credit card numbers, and other information. He was sentenced to two years in a medium-security prison in Greenville, Ill. and ordered to pay $5,358 to Protest warrior.
Both articles describe Hammond as something of a hacking savant, coding his own video games and spreadsheets for a suburban baseball league by the time he reached puberty. He also founded a website for hacking enthusiasts called HackThisSite.org, where aspiring hackers could work on their skills.
The new indictment against Hammond accuses him of cracking the website for intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting Inc., stealing the information of 860,000 Stratfor clients, including a former vice president and a former CIA director, whose names are redacted from the complaint, and publishing the information of 60,000 credit card holders and using stolen credit card information to charge up to $700,000.
Prosecutors accuse Hammond of being a member of Anonymous, LulzSec, and an Anonymous offshoot called AntiSec. His code names include “Anarchaos,” “yohoho” and “crediblethreat.” If convicted, Hammond faces up to 10 years in prison.