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Alleged Stratfor Hacker Pleads Not Guilty in Manhattan Court

Jeremy Hammond, former LulzSec member and alleged mastermind of the Stratfor hack, pled not guilty on Monday during a brief hearing at the US District Court in Manhattan, the Associated Press reported on Monday.

It was in December of 2011 that AntiSec supporters targeted Stratfor, walking away with 860,160 usernames (email addresses) and passwords, and 60,000 credit card records. Earlier this year, the FBI charged Jeremy Hammond with the Stratfor attack, slapping him with one count of computer hacking conspiracy, one count of computer hacking, and one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

According to the AP, the not guilty plea to these charges was entered by Hammond himself on Monday.

Hammond has been in federal custody since his initial appearance in a Chicago court shortly after his arrest in March. At the time, he was arrested for his connections to the AntiSec movement and taking part in the Stratfor breach.

While making the case for Hammond, the FBI’s Milan Patel told a federal judge that between December 6, 2011, until early February 2012, “at least $700,000 worth of unauthorized charges were made to credit card accounts that were among those stolen during the Stratfor Hack.”

The issue of bail wasn’t raised at the hearing. Hammond returned to custody after his appearance. He is scheduled to return to court on July 23, 2012.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.