The US Justice Department has charged 13 alleged members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous for their part in a series of cyberattacks against major banks and credit card companies.
Anonymous launched the Distributed Denial of Service attacks in 2010 in protest against the blockade erected by the card schemes to cut off donations to whistleblowing Web site Wikileaks.
The assault seriously disrupted the Websites of Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, among others.
In the UK, four members of Anonymous received prison sentences last year of between six and eighteen months for their part in the onslaught, dubbed 'Operation Payback'.
During the trial, it was revealed that the bombardment cost PayPal around £3.5 million as it scrambled to bring in extra staff and new hardware to keep its operation running.