Student convicted over Anonymous PayPal attack

Student convicted over Anonymous PayPal attack

A British student has been convicted for his part in a series of DDoS attacks carried out by the Anonymous collective against major firms, including PayPal.

Christopher Weatherhead, a 22-year old Northampton University student, was convicted on one count of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers, contrary to section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Weatherhead - who used the online handle Nerdo - was described as playing an "integral role" in a string of DDoS attacks, which initially targeted music industry-related sites over anti-piracy measures.

However, the group moved on to financial services firms, including PayPal, MasterCard and Visa, in retaliation to the blockade of payments to the whistleblowing Web site WikiLeaks in late 2010.

Police say that the gang used Facebook and Twitter to recruit followers and publicise the attacks, provided the infrastructure and tools for people to join their efforts.

During the trial, it was revealed that the assault cost PayPal around £3.5 million as it scrambled to bring in extra staff and new hardware to keep its operation running.

Weatherhead, along with another three Anonymous members who had already pleaded guilty, could face jail when sentenced at a later date.

Comments: (0)