They keep a low profile for obvious reasons. They conceal names and use aliases. Hammond was part of an Anonymous subgroup called AntiSec.
It calls itself a "popular front" against "corrupt governments, corporations, militaries, and law enforcement of the world."
It has a dozen or less core member hackers, anarchists, free speech activists, and privacy advocates.
Social engineers are also involved. They're skilled in "tricking even the most security-conscious into giving up their passwords and other data."
Hundreds of activists access its internal communication channels. They're called Internet relay chats.
Core members spent weeks trying "to ruin Stratfor." They secured more than 200 gigabytes of data. They destroyed company database files. They defaced its web site.
They posted company secrets online. They revealed 860,000 names, emails and passwords. Several dozen belonged to top-secret people. Their identities were leaked for the first time.
Hammond champions "cyber-liberation." He's called an "electronic Robin Hood." He's a "modern-day Abbie Hoffman." A friend said he's shrewd, intelligent and impulsive.
Prior civil disobedience resulted in multiple arrests. Charges ranged from defacing walls with anti-war slogans to staging a "noise demo" at the 2004 Republican National Convention.
Before his March 2012 arrest, he and other Anonymous members waged war on "rich and powerful oppressors." They shut down prominent web sites. They included CIA, FBI, major banks and credit card companies.
They supported liberating Arab country struggles. They attacked Egyptian, Tunisian and other regional country web sites.
They broke into NATO computers. They accessed the GEO Group. It's one of the world's largest private prison operators. They hacked Booz Allen Hamilton.
Prior attacks didn't rise to the level of harming Stratfor. Breaching its computer system cost the company millions. Doing so focused worldwide attention on "the murky world of private intelligence."
AntiSec originally planned to use hacked credit cards. They wanted to make contributions to worthy organizations. After the fact, they decided otherwise. Hammond wasn't charged with credit card theft.
Friends call him brilliant. He was politicized early on. He criticizes "blind patriotism." He opposed Bush's war on terrorism. In high school, he founded an underground newspaper. It encouraged students to challenge conventional political discourse.
Most of all it urged "think." "Wake up." Your mind is programmable. If you're not doing it, someone will do it for you.