Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Hacker Closing Out Prison Sentence in Chicago Halfway House

Computer hacker Jeremy Hammond, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for breaking into computer systems of security firms and law-enforcement agencies, will serve out the remainder of his term in a Chicago halfway house, a U.S. Bureau of Prison spokesman said Wednesday.

Computer hacker Jeremy Hammond, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for breaking into computer systems of security firms and law-enforcement agencies, will serve out the remainder of his term in a Chicago halfway house, a U.S. Bureau of Prison spokesman said Wednesday.

Hammond, who has gained mythic status among his supporters, was released Tuesday from the Memphis Federal Correctional Institution in Tennessee to community confinement, said Bureau of Prisons spokesman Emery Nelson. Citing privacy and security reasons, Nelson refused to release information on the conditions of Hammond’s confinement. He is scheduled for release in March.

The FBI arrested Hammond, who prosecutors called a hacking “recidivist,” during a 2012 raid on his Chicago home after getting the cooperation of Hector Xavier Monsegur, a hacker who helped law enforcement infiltrate the hacking movement ”Anonymous,” which led to the conviction of eight hackers.

The raid came after Hammond penetrated the Texas-based security think tank Strategic Forecasting Inc., known as Stratfor. The company’s clients include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Defense Department. He was also accused of hacking the FBI’s Virtual Academy, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, and the Jefferson County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office.

He’d been working with a subgroup of “Anonymous” to disrupt the networks of Sony Pictures, the Public Broadcasting Service, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and others when a member of the group enlisted him to help break into Stratfor’s systems.

The hackers posted emails between Stratfor employees and clients on the WikiLeaks website, along with credit card data from a client list that included Northrop Grumman, the Marine Corps and Time Warner Cable. They used some of the credit card numbers to donate money to the Red Cross, according to court records.

Federal prosecutors alleged the Stratfor hack resulted in more than a million dollars in losses to individuals and threatened public safety.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Hammond argued during his sentencing the hacks were civil disobedience to expose the pervasiveness of government and private surveillance.

During a 2014 interview with The Associated Press, Hammond laughed at the idea that some consider such attacks as threatening to national security as terrorism.

“I mean, I didn’t kill anybody,” he said.

Hammond last year was summoned to testify to a federal grand jury in Virginia. He was found guilty of civil contempt after he refused to testify.

Raised in the Chicago suburb of Glendale Heights, Hammond described himself as a :nonconformist, anti-authority” kid who at 8, tried to design video games. A few years later, he started hacking.

He started the University of Illinois at Chicago with a full scholarship, but was kicked out after hacking into the university’s computer science department website and telling administrators about the vulnerability.

Over the years, his supporters have elevated him to near-mythical status on the internet and have sold buttons, t-shirts and other merchandise bearing his name and picture. In a Tuesday tweet, the Jeremy Hammond Support Committee expressed joy that Hammond had been released from prison.

Related: Russian Sentenced to Prison for Hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox

Related: ‘Dark Overlord’ Hacker Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

Written By

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Artificial Intelligence

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Artificial Intelligence

The degree of danger that may be introduced when adversaries start to use AI as an effective weapon of attack rather than a tool...