PayPal DDoS Attackers Plead Guilty

Monday, December 9, 2013 @ 07:12 PM gHale

Eleven Anonymous members charged in the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on PayPal, pleaded guilty Thursday.

In all, 14 people ended up charged in July, 2011 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division for a DDoS attack on PayPal’s servers in December 2010 in retribution for the payment processor’s decision to terminate the donation account of whistle-blower site WikiLeaks.

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They faced charges of conspiring among themselves and with other known and unknown persons to commit “intentional damage to a protected computer” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Of the 14 defendants, 11 pleaded guilty to one felony charge and one misdemeanor, Stanley Cohen, counsel for one of the defendants, Mercedes Renee Haefer, said Thursday.

Under the agreement approved by the court, the sentencing for these charges ended up adjourned for one year. The felony charge could end up dismissed at the end of the year, if there are no new problems like arrests during the period, Cohen said.

The defendants would conditionally end up discharged for the misdemeanor after getting credit for time served, Cohen said. The 11 defendants will each pay restitution of $5,600.

Two defendants admitted to a misdemeanor but not a felony, as they did not want a felony on their records, which will require them to serve up to 90 days in jail when the sentencing comes up next year.

Cohen said the deal was a clear win for civil disobedience as the defendants had admitted to doing what they believed was appropriate, and accepted the consequences of their conduct.

A 14th defendant faces criminal charges in a federal court in Virginia in connection with other DDoS attacks.

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