Thirteen PayPal Hackers Plead Guilty in California

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Thirteen people recently pled guilty to charges related to their involvement in DDoS attacks against PayPal in December 2010. The attacks were launched in response to PayPal's refusal to accept donations for WikiLeaks (h/t The Register).

The 13 are Christopher Wayne Cooper, Joshua John Covelli, Keith Wilson Downey, Mercedes Renee Haefer, Donald Husband, Vincent Charles Kershaw, Ethan Miles, James C. Murphy, Drew Alan Phillips, Jeffrey Puglisi, Daniel Sullivan, Tracy Ann Valenzuela and Christopher Quang Vo.

Covelli also pled guilty to his involvement in a DDoS attack against Santa Cruz County's Web servers in December 2010.

Valenzuela's sentencing is scheduled for November 20, 2014, and the sentencing hearing for the other 12 defendants is scheduled for December 4, 2014.

Pierre Omidyar, chairman of PayPal parent company eBay, has urged the prosecutors to look only at the actual damage caused by each defendant, and to calculate damages based only on the pay required for employees to respond to the attack.

"But the damage estimate apparently being used by prosecutors in this case includes the cost of upgrading equipment to better defend against similar future attacks," Omidyar wrote. "To me, that doesn't make sense. It's akin to charging a protester who illegally and ill-advisedly throws a rock through a window with the cost of replacing the window with much more expensive rock-proof glass."