British student on trial over Anonymous PayPal hacking

A British student went on trial in London on Thursday accused of a series of cyber-attacks by the hacking group Anonymous that cost the US online payments giant PayPal millions of dollars.

Christopher Weatherhead, 22, is accused of participating in attacks by Anonymous on PayPal, MasterCard and other companies that refused to process payments to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors said the assault on had cost the company £3.5 million ($5.6 million, 4.3 million euros) in loss of trading as well as software and hardware updates to fend off similar attacks.

In a campaign codenamed "Operation Payback", Anonymous also targeted companies in the and opponents of including the Ministry of Sound nightclub and record label, the jury heard.

Weatherhead denies a charge of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers between August 2010 and January 22 last year, when he was a student at Northampton University in central England.

Opening the case, prosecutor Sandip Patel said Weatherhead and other Anonymous members had "waged a sophisticated and orchestrated campaign of online attacks that paralysed a series of targeted computer systems".

"Those attacks caused unprecedented harm," Patel added.

Three other men have already pleaded guilty to the charge, the jury heard.

Anonymous, who style themselves as "hactivists", said on Saturday that they had downed dozens of Israeli in protest over the Jewish state's air assault on Gaza, which ended with a wary truce on Wednesday.


Explore further

Israel facing 'millions' of cyber-attacks over Gaza (Update)

(c) 2012 AFP

Citation: British student on trial over Anonymous PayPal hacking (2012, November 22) retrieved 25 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-british-student-trial-anonymous-paypal.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Nov 22, 2012
If found guilty, this boy needs to go to prison for a long, long time.

Hey Christopher, hope your sphincter ani externus remains taught for the duration, thereby providing years of pleasure to the bubbas of your cellblock.

Nov 22, 2012
Paypal is an organ of the bankster ponzi scheme and US war machine. Many of theses spy operations are run by Mormons out of Utah. Mormons are raised to believe that snitching and spying for the church is a noble attribute. The founder of the church, Joseph Smith, openly declared war on gentiles and employed his church to that task.

Nov 23, 2012
The article mentions that Anonymous claims several Israeli sites were hacked by them, but there seems to be some confusion about that. The attacks weren't successful at first, at least according to this: http://it.slashdo...nonymous

Nov 23, 2012
IMO every successful hacking forms a FREE public test of site security and reliability and it should be rewarded instead. If nothing else, such an attack will lead to greater security and service robustness for future PayPal customers. I can understand, that the PayPal company feels upset with the finding of holes in its system - but IMO it's just PayPal, who should be punished for allowing such a holes instead. It's like the bank, which is taking huge money for storing of private valuables in banking case, but it cheats its clients with storing it in paper box. Why just the Anonymous guy, who points to this weakness, is punished instead of that bank?

Nov 24, 2012
EU is giving a special fuck you to jonnyboy | Technophebe | Ophelia | randith | Trenchant by sanctioning paypal for their crimes LOL

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more