At the time, he also admitted leaking information stolen in this hack, as well as breaking into computer systems of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, FBI’s Virtual Academy, Vanguard Defense Industries, and several more defense companies and law enforcement organizations, and stealing and leaking confidential information store in them.
Hammond was arrested in March 2012, along with several LulzSec and Anonymous hackers, and the FBI had then revealed that they managed to discover their real-life identities and to connect them to the crimes by using 28-year old LulzSec leader Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka “Sabu,” as an informant.
Hammond was sentenced on Friday by Loretta Preska, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, before a courtroom full of journalists and activists that came to support him.
Before his sentence was handed to him, Hammond has read a prepared statement in which he said that “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,” and that he felt he had an obligation to use his skills to expose and confront injustice, give that the peaceful protests he was involved in the past did nothing to change any of the things he wanted to change.
He also stated again that Sabu, under the direction of the FBI, provided information about possible targets that they should attack, and among them were also websites belonging to foreign governments (the identities of which have been redacted as directed by the judge).
“The US hypes the threat of hackers in order to justify the multi billion dollar cyber security industrial complex, but it is also responsible for the same conduct it aggressively prosecutes and claims to work to prevent,” he stated. “The hypocrisy of ‘law and order’ and the injustices caused by capitalism cannot be cured by institutional reform but through civil disobedience and direct action. Yes I broke the law, but I believe that sometimes laws must be broken in order to make room for change.”
He also stated that he was sorry that he leaked personal information of people who had nothing to do with the operations of the institutions he targeted.
Both his counsel and he himself have tried to convince the judge that what he did was right despite being illegal, but they failed to impress her and she chose to go with the full prison sentence defined in his plea agreement.
Hammond has already served 18 months in federal detention, and will be eligible for parole four years from now. After his release, he will be subjected to three years under supervised release, reports RT.