A purported Anonymous and LulzSec member who has been in prison since March after being hit with hacking conspiracy charges pleaded innocent on Monday.
Jeremy Hammond, 27, of Chicago and four others were named in an 39-page indictment unsealed earlier this month in U.S .District Court in New York. Specifically, Hammond is charged with helping to lead the infiltration of the Arizona Department of Public Safety last June and global affairs firm Stratfor in December.
In the case of Stratfor, prosecutors said the intruders stole 60,000 credit card numbers from clients, in addition to the personal information, such as names and email addresses, of 860,000 people.
Hammond was given up by hacker-turned-informant Hector Monsegur, who goes by "Sabu." The defacto leader of LulzSec, a now-defunct offshoot of Anonymous, Monsegur was arrested in June after he and his team committed a number of brazen hacks, including PBS, Sony Pictures and InfraGard of Atlanta. Before his cover was blown in March by authorities, he was collaborating with the FBI -- all the while, maintaining his rebellious persona to his legions of followers, including Hammond, who collaborated with Monsegur on the Stratfor break-in.
Hammond spoke in court Monday only to issue his "not guilty" plea, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Supporters for the hacktivist cause were visible both inside and outside of court.
Hammond remains in prison in lower Manhattan, but is doing "great," his Brooklyn-based attorney, Elizabeth Fink, said, according to reports. His next court appearance is July 23. Fink could not immediately be reached for comment by SCMagazine.com.