updated 5/14/2012 6:10:14 PM ET 2012-05-14T22:10:14

A Chicago man has pleaded not guilty to computer hacking charges stemming from an investigation aimed at taking out key players in the worldwide group Anonymous.

Jeremy Hammond entered the plea Monday in federal court in Manhattan.

The 27-year-old defendant is named in an indictment charging five people with conspiracy to commit computer hacking and other charges. He's been held in a lower Manhattan lockup since an initial appearance in a Chicago court.

Prosecutors allege the defendants and others hacked into companies and government agencies worldwide, including the U.S. Senate. Prosecutors say they also stole confidential information, defaced websites and temporarily put some victims out of business.

Authorities say their crimes affected more than 1 million people.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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