Barrett Brown has been indicted on charges stemming from a massive data breach at geopolitical risk analysis organization Stratfor Global Intelligence.
Brown, a hacker and former spokesman for the hacker collective Anonymous, is already in federal prison because of a different indictment, which was brought against him on October 3, reports PC World.
In the current indictment, Brown is accused of transferring a hyperlink from an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) reportedly occupied by Anonymous to one that was controlled by Brown.
The latest Barrett Brown indictment alleges that the hyperlink provided a person with access to data that was stolen from Stratfor, including over 5,000 credit card account numbers, information about their owners, and also the cards’ CVV (card verification values) numbers.
In transferring and posting the hyperlink, Brown allowed this sensitive information to become available to persons without the authorization of either the company or the cardholders — a federal law violation. Brown was also charged for possessing at least 15 stolen credit card numbers. The penalty for trafficking in credit card numbers is a maximum of 15 years in prison, while possession of credit cards with fraudulent intentions is a 10 year penalty.
Along with credit card information, Brown was also charged with 10 counts of identity theft. Each of these counts carries a mandatory two-year sentence as well as a fine up to $250,000. Gawker notes that millions of emails emails from the Stratfor hack have since been given to WikiLeaks, which continually publishes them. Barrett Brown’s previous indictment came after he threatened an FBI agent.
Anonymous hacked Stratfor’s computers in December of 2011. Along with posting 75,000 names and credit card numbers of the company’s subscribers, they also posted 860,000 user names and email addresses of people who were registered with the firm’s website.
If the charges in Barrett Brown’s indictment hold up, then he will likely not leave federal prison for a long time.