UK Hacker Convicted for Anonymous Cyber Attacks

Hacker Christopher Weatherhead, 22, was convicted today for his involvement in a series of cyber attacks on PayPal, Visa and MasterCard in 2010 as part of Operation Payback.

“Mr. Weatherhead, who adopted the moniker ‘Nerdo,’ was charged with playing a central role in an Anonymous DDOS campaign against companies such as PayPal, Visa and Mastercard, as the hacker collective joined the fray when the payments companies clamped down on WikiLeaks fundraising,” writes Betabeat’s Patrick Clark.

“Three other defendants had already pleaded guilty to the charge,” Sky News reports. “They are Ashley Rhodes, 27, from south London; Peter Gibson, 24, from Hartlepool; and Jake Birchall, 18, from Chester.”

“The four also targeted the British Recorded Music Industry, Ministry of Sound and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, prosecutors said,” writes Bloomberg’s Lindsay Fortado. “The attacks cost the companies more than 3.5 million pounds ($5.6 million) in extra staffing, software and sales losses.”

“Weatherhead was convicted on one count of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977. … A jury of six men and five women deliberated for little more than two hours on Thursday before returning a guilty verdict against Weatherhead for his ‘integral role’ in the attacks, which happened while he was studying at Northampton University,” writes The Guardian’s Sandra Laville.

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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