A federal jury in northern California has found a journalist guilty of computer crimes for helping hackers deface the Los Angeles Times website.
Matthew Keys was found guilty on computer fraud charges that carry a combined maximum punishment of 25 years in prison and US$750,000 (NZ$1.13 million) in fines, according to US media reports.
He was expected to get a lighter sentence under court guidelines that allow judges some discretion in meting out justice.
Keys, a former Tribune Media worker, was dismissed as a social media editor at Reuters after he was indicted in 2013.
Prosecutors made a case in court that Keys shared log-on information to a Tribune content management site with an online chat room run by infamous hacker group Anonymous.
Hackers went on to post an offensive, fake story at the website in 2010.
Keys and his lawyers vowed to appeal the convictions, contending that the charges overreached the intent of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.