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FBI Most Wanted Hacker May Be Caught Due to Cat’s Name Password

© East News/ Imago Sport and NewsHacker Jeremy Hammond, currently serving a ten year prison sentence in the US for cybercrime, has revealed to AP that a password featuring the name of his cat was the weak link which allowed FBI agents to crack his encryption program.
Hacker Jeremy Hammond, currently serving a ten year prison sentence in the US for cybercrime, has revealed to AP that a password featuring the name of his cat was the weak link which allowed FBI agents to crack his encryption program. - Sputnik International
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Hammond took part in a hacking campaign in 2011, called Operation Anti-Security and carried out by members of hacking groups LulzSec and Anonymous.

MOSCOW, November 15 (Sputnik) — Hacker Jeremy Hammond, currently serving a ten year prison sentence in the US for cybercrime, has revealed to AP that a password featuring the name of his cat was the weak link which allowed FBI agents to crack his encryption program.

"My password was really weak,” he told AP. "Chewy 123."

In November 2013 Hammond pled guilty to one violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and was sentenced to the maximum ten years in prison plus three years supervised release. On sentencing, Judge Loretta Preska drew attention to his prior record of offences: “Hammond is a computer hacking recidivist,” she wrote, continuing that he has “complete disregard for the law.”

Hammond took part in a hacking campaign in 2011, called Operation Anti-Security and carried out by members of hacking groups LulzSec and Anonymous. On December 26 the group #AntiSec released a message in which they announced “Lulzxmas festivities” in the form of their hack of Strategic Forecasting Inc., and boasted of “over $500,000 being expropriated from the bigshot clients of Stratfor.”

Stratfor bills itself as a “geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world.” Its hacking was a big embarrassment for the firm, which LulzSec described as “clueless… when it comes to database security.” AntiSec also published millions of the company’s emails, and personal information from Stratfor customers, including tens of thousands of credit card numbers, email addresses, phone number and encrypted passwords.

Hammond defended his actions as politically justified: “The acts of civil disobedience and direct action that I am being sentenced for today are in line with the principles of community and equality that have guided my life,” he told the court on the day of sentencing.

Judge Preska however, disagreed: “These are not the actions of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, John Adams or even Daniel Ellsberg. In the Stratfor hack, Mr. Hammond disclosed an enormous amount of confidential information, not even remotely in the public interest,” the New York Times reports her as saying.

Hammond was apprehended after a fellow hacker, Hector Monsegur, turned FBI informant. Monsegur, known online as Sabu, was the leader of LulzSec, and Hammond claimed that it was he who directed the hack. “I had never heard of Stratfor until Sabu brought it to my attention,” he said in his court statement. “It came as a great surprise when I learned that Sabu had been working with the FBI the entire time.”

In May 2014 Monsegur walked free from court having been spared a possible 26 year prison sentence, after Judge Preska praised his “extraordinary cooperation” with the FBI.

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