Matthew Keys, a 26-year-old social media editor who has been charged with helping Anonymous attack the website of his former employer, has been suspended with pay, a Thomson Reuters spokesman told The Huffington Post.
Keys was suspended Thursday night just hours after the Department of Justice charged him in connection with an attack on the website of his former employer by the hacker group.
The spokesman had no further information. Keys is currently a deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that Keys' work station was being dismantled and his security pass had been deactivated.
The DOJ indictment says Keys gave hackers affiliated with Anonymous usernames and passwords after he was fired from his job at Tribune Co.-owned KTXL Fox 40 in Sacramento, Calif. He allegedly told hackers to "go f**k some s**t up."
DOJ alleges Keys posted under the username "AESCracked" and worked with Anonymous hackers between Dec. 10 and Dec. 15, 2010 to "make unauthorized changes to web sites that the Tribune Company used to communicate news features to the public; and to damage computer systems used by the Tribune Company."
Other members of the conspiracy allegedly identified the Los Angeles Times as a target. One hacker successfully altered a Los Angeles Times story using the login Keys allegedly provided. According to DOJ, Keys stated he would use a Virtual Private Network to "cover [his] tracks" but discovered the company had cut off his account.
"I'm locked out for good," Keys wrote, according to the indictment. ":(."
Keys, a social media guru who previously used the Twitter handle @ProducerMatthew, faces up to 25 years in prison, as well as fines of up to $750,000. His arraignment is set for 2 p.m. April 12 in Sacramento.
Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly contributed reporting to this story.
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