Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Authorities have arrested a man in Wisconsin that has been allegedly connected to the infamous hacking group Anonymous.
Officials say Eric J. Rosol, 37, participated in Anonymous’ take down of Koch Industries’ website during protests in the Wisconsin capital in 2011, including www.kochind.com and www.quiltednorthern.com on February 27 and 28 in 2011.
Koch Industries is a $115-billion-a-year oil and manufacturing company owned by brothers Charles and David Koch. The 2011 attacks came during pro-union protests in Wisconsin’s state capital, when the Koch brothers were being scrutinized for backing the state’s union cutbacks.
During the protest, Anonymous members issued a statement accusing the brothers of “political manipulation.” The hackers conducted a denial-of-service attack (DDOS) on the website in order to shut it down. During one of these attacks, users repeatedly access a website until its servers are overwhelmed, causing it to shut down.
“If successful, the attack causes the target computer to be unable to respond or to respond so slowly as to be effectively unavailable to users,” prosecutors said in a news release. “The attack was to be undertaken using a tool known as a ‘Low Orbit Ion Cannon’ that could send a high volume of repeated requests to Koch Web sites.”
Officials said Anonymous told conspirators to use the Low Orbit Ion Cannon to attack quiltenorthern.com on February 27. Then, a day later, the hacking group asked members, including Rosol, to launch the same attack on Kochind.com
If Rosol is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each account.
Another man was charged with three hacking-related counts after helping out Anonymous. Matthew Keys, 26, of Secaucus, New Jersey was charged earlier this month with one count each of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, transmitting information to damage a protected computer and attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer.
Keys, who is working with Reuters as a deputy social media editor, is believed to have been part of a hack job on websites of the Tribune Company. He allegedly provided a username and password for Tribune servers to the group through an online chat room. This information allowed hackers to log in as “ngarcia” and alter a news story on The Los Angeles Times website.
Four more hackers belonging to Anonymous were sentenced to jail for conspiracy to impair the operation of computers back in January. The hackers were responsible for bringing down the websites of MasterCard, PayPal and Visa.
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