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Bad kitty: The FBI's most wanted cybercriminal's cat might have got him busted

Bad kitty: The FBI's most wanted cybercriminal's cat might have got him busted
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Hackers these days.

They know how easy it is to break into other people's computers, usually by exploiting users' mistakes. In turn, that would lead you to believe that they have their own computers on a pretty tight lockdown, right?

That's just simply not the case, at least for Jeremy Hammond.

While in college, Hammond hacked into the University of Illinois at Chicago's computer science website. When he told university administrators about the vulnerability he found, they expelled him from the school.

Hammond is a self-proclaimed "hacktivist." He allegedly used his computer skills to break into government and corporate websites, looking for ways to disrupt their organizations or leak potentially embarrassing information.

His activities had already landed him behind bars once before. In 2008, he was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison. Then when he was released, he was soon back to his old tricks.

But this brilliant but notorious hacker made it easy for police to get into his computer and gather all the evidence they needed to put him away. And it could be all thanks to his cat, Chewy.

Or at least that's what he thinks. From the Seattle Times:

To this day, Hammond is unsure how agents cracked his encryption program and got what they needed to land him back in prison. But he has one idea: "My password was really weak."

It was his cat.

"Chewy," he said, looking down at his hands. "Chewy 123."

Talk about a facepalm!

Hammond was arrested in 2012 after police raided his home in Chicago. Though he was able to shut down his computer despite a heavily-armed SWAT-type raid, police eventually cracked his password.

I've told you time and time again how important it is to have strong but easy-to-remember passwords. Click here for my tips to creating them.

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