crimes and misdemeanors

The D.O.J. Has Not Forgotten About Anonymous (Even If You Have)

A masked hacker, part of the Anonymous group, hacks the French presidential Elysee Palace website on January 20, 2012 near the eastern city of Lyon. Anonymous, which briefly knocked the FBI and Justice Department websites offline in retaliation for the US shutdown of file-sharing site Megaupload, is a shadowy group of international hackers with no central hierarchy. On the left screen, an Occupy mask is seen. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

In Internet time, the 2010 distributed denial of service attack that temporarily shut down six finance and retail websites, including MasterCard, happened approximately one million years ago. But while you may have forgotten that early effort on the part of Anonymous to screw with what it saw as the enemies of WikiLeaks, the Department of Justice has not. On Thursday, federal prosecutors indicted thirteen people on one charge each of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to protected computers. Ars Technica offers this detail: “According to the indictment, the victims suffered ‘significant damage,’ noting specifically that MasterCard suffered at least $5,000 in losses during a one-year period. (For the record, MasterCard profited $415 million in 2010.)” Not that that excuses the DDoS tactic, necessarily, but it certainly does provide some scale.

The D.O.J. Has Not Forgotten About Anonymous