Guilty: Hacker Facing Jail Time

Friday, December 7, 2012 @ 04:12 PM gHale

A Northampton, U.K., man is guilty of one count of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers for his involvement in the DDoS campaign against PayPal and other companies in 2010.

Christopher Weatherhead, 22, was found guilty of conspiracy in the plan initiated by Anonymous called “Operation Payback,” the campaign focused on movie and music industry organizations at the beginning, and then at PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and other financial institutions for refusing to process donations to WikiLeaks.

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Russell Tyner, Crown Advocate for the CPS Organized Crime Division, said before the court that the attacks executed by Weatherhead and his fellow conspirators cost the targeted companies over $5.61 (£3.5) million in additional staffing, software and loss of sales.

“These were lawful companies with ordinary customers and hard working employees. This was not a victimless crime,” he said.

Weatherhead’s conspirators and Anonymous members Peter Gibson, 24, Ashley Rhodes, 28, and Jake Birchall, 18, pleaded guilty to the same charge earlier.

During the trial, Weatherhead insisted he had not taken part in the attacks and that he was acting only as a “communications manager” and “online chatroom creator” for Anonymous.”

Sentencing will occur in January.

He is free on bail and cannot use Internet chat relays or post anything online under his known pseudonym or any other name but his own. He also has to wear an electronic tag and will have to abide to a set curfew.

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