Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Crime Security The Courts United Kingdom IT

UK Anonymous Hacktivists Get Jail Time 96

Posted by timothy
from the sadly-taking-up-room-for-spammers dept.
twoheadedboy writes "Two members of the Anonymous hacking collective have been handed a total of 25 months in prison. Christopher Weatherhead, a 22-year-old who went under the pseudonym Nerdo, received the most severe punishment — 18 months in prison. Another member, Ashley Rhodes, was handed seven months, whilst Peter Gibson was given a six-month suspended sentence. They were convicted for hitting a variety of websites, including those belonging to PayPal and MasterCard."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

UK Anonymous Hacktivists Get Jail Time

Comments Filter:
  • FTFA, the attack on Paypal was said to have cost them 3.6 m pounds, I doubt that.
    • Re:Yeah Right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @05:47PM (#42684233)

      It's fairly common for these kinds of nonsense figures to include: 1) the cost of doing stuff they would've needed to do anyway, like fix misconfigurations or patch security holes; and 2) salaries for regular staff who would've been paid the salary either way, like a sysadmin who had to take some time away from posting on Slashdot to respond to the incident.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by GumphMaster (772693)

        The logic of ambit claims will goes like this (figures are examples only): the most revenue (not profit) we have ever taken in an hour is 1.5M, we were off-the-air for 2 hours (rounded up of course), therefore we 'lost' 3M. For that 2 hours our company-wide expenditure was 0.5M which was not bringing in money and therefore a 'loss'. Total 3.5M 'lost'. It, of course, completely ignores the massive spike in payments during the few hours after their system came back as the vast majority of payments that c

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      FTFA, the attack on Paypal was said to have cost them 3.6 m pounds, I doubt that.

      I'm sure Paypal is very much interested in proving that in civil court. The pain is just beginning for those idiot boys.

      • nope - this is England.

        We're done now. The boys will serve their time (presumably 9 months with good behaviour) and then move on with their lives.

        note: it's not that in theory Paypal couldn't take a civil claim, just that in the UK it isn't generally the done thing. Apart from anything else, it wouldn't be worth it for Paypal. The boys almost certainly have little in the way of assets, so Paypal wouldn't recover much (and it would cost them a bundle in legal fees). On top of that, they would just end up loo

  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Stupid Script kiddies

  • by localman57 (1340533) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @05:18PM (#42683963)

    Peter Gibson was given a six-month suspended sentence.

    He has lived a trite and meaningless life. Oh, wait. No. That's Gibbons, not Gibson.

  • Wow, pretty severe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @05:19PM (#42683977)

    I have zero sympathy for this kind of hacker, but that's a lot of time for a DDOS that apparently they didn't even execute if I read the charges right.

    • Weatherhead received the most severe sentence due to his cybernym, Nerdo, indicating a special danger to himself, his fellows and to society.
    • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @05:47PM (#42684237) Homepage Journal

      I believe the primary difference in the Mastercard and PayPal DDOS attacks is that they weren't just tryng to take down a website, but rather they attacked the domains that provided APIs to process payments. They were literally trying to disrupt business transactions.

      They were not successful in fully bringing down either.

      I also object to calling any criminal hacking "hacktivism". A legal protest can be more effective. They didn't advance their beliefs or causes, though they did break the law.

      • It's possible they considered this to be civil disobedience. If so, the whole point is that you do what you believe is right, knowing it's illegal, and accept the consequences of your actions. If they believe they were doing the right thing then fair enough, but there should be no whining about the jail time.

        For those outside the UK, they will serve 50% of their sentences if they behave while inside.
      • by Hatta (162192)

        I also object to calling any criminal hacking "hacktivism". A legal protest can be more effective.

        Can be, but not necessarily. If it weren't for criminals, we wouldn't be racially integrated today.

        They didn't advance their beliefs or causes

        They didn't, but they tried. And that's better than most people do.

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      I have zero sympathy for this kind of hacker, but that's a lot of time for a DDOS that apparently they didn't even execute

      It is just a lesson that PayPal and others have purchased (lobbied) from our government.

      These hackers should have gone into money laundering (e.g. HSBC - Too Big to Indict [nytimes.com]) instead.

    • by westlake (615356)

      I have zero sympathy for this kind of hacker, but that's a lot of time for a DDOS that apparently they didn't even execute if I read the charges right.

      Attempt a felony, be charged with a felony.

      Join in a criminal conspiracy, provide support for the conspiracy, go down with your co-conspirators.

      It doesn't matter whether the conspiracy succeeds or fails. Traditionally, it didn't matter whether you expected things to be taken as far as they were or end as badly as they did. There are echoes of this in the felony murder rule.

      You don't want to be caught driving the getaway car in a holdup where someone gets shot. You don't even want to be the guy who suppl

  • I am being serious about this when I ask. What is so great about Anonymous? I have read plenty about them, but don't get why so many people I know go on about how great of hackers they supposedly are. Furthermore just so you know, the people I know who do this obviously know nothing about computers and they say they really want to join them. Also forgive me if I am missing something, but they just seem like a bunch of hacker wannabe script kiddies. I don't think any self respecting group of hackers would go
    • My personal take is that this is a dual part answer. Anonymous is as awesome as it is terrible. The idea of anonymous is what I think I would champion most.

      There are some good things done by the faceless group... and there are stupid childish things done by the faceless group.. neither the same part of the whole, but still apart of the group.

      From this we see community, and from internet community, we see weirdos. Just depends on how deep you're wanting to look.

      • by DriveDog (822962)
        In some ways it's like ALF or ELF—anyone anywhere can be Anonymous. This makes it impossible for LEOs to track down all participants before they act. It means there's little hierarchy of control, so actions of some may not be condoned by others under the banner. Doing something and claiming to be Anonymous gets significantly more attention than being just anonymous but gets participants more severe punishment because those prosecuted are implicitly being blamed for the previous actions of others under
        • by rtb61 (674572)

          In most the the truth will out and the fact that 'Anonymous' doesn't really exist as a group, will out and the action you took in the name of 'Anonymous' will be purely those you are charged for and if proven convicted for.

          In the US with the whole abortion that is the Department of in-Justice, any sort of weird crap interpretation will come to life and be thrown into the case. It'll only be a matter of time until the self aggrandising arse holes decide that each and every single individual request of a D

    • Anonymous' targets are what seem to draw adulation, not their methods.
    • It depends on who they're going after.
      I certainly cheered when they took on Sony over the Geohot affair.

      There is a romantic appeal of the anonymous hero/vigilante righting wrongs from the shadows...

  • Combined Total? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rjstanford (69735) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @05:41PM (#42684175) Homepage Journal

    When multiple people are convicted of different things, listing their punishment as a "total" serves purely to make the story more lurid and, thus, to make whatever possibly reasonable point the author intended seem more likely to be incorrect. "Two of the three people credited with hacking financial networks received jail sentences, the longest for 18 months" would still be silly wording but at least not a blatent attempt to exaggerate.

    • by Maritz (1829006)
      Yes. I'm reminded of this [guardian.co.uk] from the Guardian style guide: "Never invent a big figure when a small one will do. Totting jail sentences together ("the six men were jailed for a total of 87 years") is meaningless as well as irritating."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hacktivist? Is that the term we're going to keep using? Really?
    • "Hacker" was co-opted to mean "criminal who happens to use a computer as anything more sophisticated than hitting someone over the head with one and mugging them."

      Then Anonymous came along and started doing things which were clearly not simple crimes. "Hacktivist" was starting to sound different to the public. "Hackers are cybergangmembers and bad, but 'Hacktivists' have principles and are maybe good!"

      The powers that be clearly realized they were losing the war of words, so now "Hacktivists" is goin
  • They attacked because they stopped giving Assange his money. Now who is the bad guy here?
    • They attacked because they stopped giving Assange his money. Now who is the bad guy here?

      The world desperately needs a non-US based credit card so this sort of miss-guided government action doesn't happen again.

  • Although I actually think it's a long sentance personnally (if it was up to me I'd leave it at a sentance with no jail time since not being able to get a job and turning to crime might be enough for a first time)... I think it's short for the political setup we're seeing come through; Daily Mail readers who say lock them up and throw away the key. As such I'd rather this sentence length than life sentances or whatever's going round in the USA.

    Am I dickless for settling for that?

  • Cue the slashdotters who'll defend them. They're *fucking thieves*. They deserve jail time.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is screwed up. Even the worst dictators in history have served less time. In 1923 Hitler attempted a coup with something like 600 men. He served just 9 months in jail. This was before coming to power legally (though what came later was contrary to the law of the land from my understanding of what happened). You would think threatening a countries leaders would get you more time than some minor protesting. Yes- this is protesting. It might be criminal although it is no worse than blocking traffic.

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      Even the worst dictators in history have served less time.

      These people didn't have the same sort of contacts.

      You would think threatening a countries leaders would get you more time than some minor protesting. Yes- this is protesting.

      Attacking services is not acceptable.

      It might be criminal although it is no worse than blocking traffic.

      People have died over blocked traffic and you want to raise it to that bar? Ok, you win.

  • "People who break the law get punished accordingly. Film at 11."

  • They should have gotten another 6 months for being stupid and careless enough to get caught. Criminal negligence? Lol. It's reeeeeeally not hard these days to not get caught if you're a hacker. Just don't go around bragging, telling your little hacker friends your real name and where you live, or connecting to stuff through non-proxy or TOR means or letting anyone else use your computer. But of course Anonymous is like 100 copies of Kim Dotcom coming off a photocopier so ego comes before anonymity. Iro
  • ... for a much lesser "crime" of interfering with business models based on "artificial scarcity"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Swartz [wikipedia.org]

    BTW, something Martin Luther King said:
    http://simple.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr [wikiquote.org].
    "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      . "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."

      That does not mean that every illegal thing is right.

Hacking's just another word for nothing left to kludge.

Working...