Skip to comments.Anonymous 'hacktivists' jailed for cyber-attacks
Posted on 01/24/2013 5:04:26 PM PST by JohnPDuncan
TWO men from notorious hacking group Anonymous were jailed today for carrying out cyber-attacks which cost one website £3.5MILLION.
Christopher Weatherhead, 22, from Northampton was given an 18-month sentence for conspiring to impair the operation of computers.
Ashley Rhodes, 28, from Camberwell, south London, was handed seven months for the same charge.
The self-styled hacktivists targeted websites as part of their Operation Payback because they did not agree with the companies' views.
Visitors to websites including Mastercard, PayPal and Visa were routed to a page with the message: Youve tried to bite the Anonymous hand. You angered the hive and now you are being stung.
Peter Gibson, 24, from Hartlepool, admitted playing a lesser role in the conspiracy and was given a six-month suspended sentence.
Jake Birchal, 18, from Chester, has also admitted conspiracy and will be sentenced later.
Prosecutor Joel Smith said it was a persistent campaign designed to cause damage, financial losses and Press exposure.
Judge Peter Testar said: It is intolerable that when an individual or a group disagrees with a particular entitys activities they should be free to curtail that activity by means of attacks such as those which took place in this case.
However, he also noted that their aims were not to cause permanent damage or to steal information from the sites.
He said: "The purpose was not commercial. It was activity by way of protest."
That’s a misleading headline.
Operation Payback was originally devised to counterattack anti-piracy organizations that had been attacking file sharing sites, and in some cases engaging in illegal activities to do so.
But then, after Wikileaks released information that embarrassed governments, those government ordered banks and online merchant services to block Wikileaks from receiving donations from its supporters by canceling its accounts.
So Operation Payback turned to attacking these banks, credit card companies, PayPal, etc., for bowing to these governments though they were not required to do so.
Put them in jail working at minimum wage until the £3.5million is repaid.
Agreed. They only got a slap on the wrist.