Rescued at Sea; Busted for Hacking

Thursday, February 18, 2016 @ 03:02 PM gHale

The husband of a Massachusetts couple, rescued at sea by a Disney cruise ship, ended up arrested for being part of a cyber attack on a Boston Hospital in 2014, FBI officials said.

Martin Gottsfeld, 31, of Somerville, MA, was under investigation after launching a series of cyber attacks against Boston Children’s Hospital in 2014, as part of the Anonymous hacker collective.

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Weeks before his rescue, Gottsfeld and his wife left their Somerville home without telling anyone. Family members and Gottsfeld’s boss informed police of their disappearance, but law enforcement did not find clues about their whereabouts.

But that all changed when a few days ago, FBI agents in the Bahamas informed their U.S. colleagues they apprehended Gottsfeld after a Disney cruise ship had rescued him and his wife from a sailboat near the coast of Cuba.

The couple broadcasted a distress call asking for help. Cruise members told FBI agents the two had a sizeable amount of luggage, along with three laptops.

Before his arrest, Gottsfeld was under investigation for the cyber attacks against the Boston hospital since October 2014, FBI officials said. Investigators said they tied him to an Anonymous YouTube video uploaded online, through which he called upon fellow hackers to launch attacks against the Boston hospital as part of #OpJustina.

The #OpJustina Anonymous campaign launched after Boston Children’s Hospital staff tried to take custody of Justina Pelletier, thinking she was a victim of parental abuse.

A custody battle followed, which Justina’s parents won, after proving hospital staff had misdiagnosed the child, and she was suffering from a mitochondrial disease, and not beaten, as initially thought.

The Anonymous DDoS attacks managed to bring the hospital’s systems down for at least a week and caused damages of $300,000.

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