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Prosecutor alleges Anonymous attacks cost PayPal £3.5m

Courts in the UK are currently hearing arguments against hackers allegedly involved with Anonymous. According to courtroom testimony, Anonymous targeted companies that opposed internet piracy but expanded its targets to include PayPal after the payment processor refused to process payments intended to help keep Wikileaks operating.

One of the defendants is Christopher Weatherhead, a 22-year-old student from Northampton University. Whitehead stands accused on a charge of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers between August 1, 2010 and January 22, 2011.
 
Weatherhead denies the charge of conspiracy. During arguments in the Weatherhead case, the court was told that other Anonymous participants had already pled guilty to the conspiracy charge.

The prosecutor in the case, Sandip Patel, said that the group of hackers had caused PayPal "enormous economic harm." Patel accuses Weatherhead of encouraging an attack against PayPal and posting plans for an attack on an IRC channel using the name Nerdo.

Patel added that over 100 PayPal workers spent three weeks working on issues related to the Anonymous attacks. He also noted that PayPal had to spend large sums of money on software and hardware to defend against similar attacks in the future working out to an estimated overall cost of £3.5m.

Patel describes Weatherhead as being part of a "small cabal of leaders" of Anonymous and a network administrator for the group. A raid on Weatherhead's home resulted in the seizure of computer equipment and Patel said that Weatherhead's passwords were variations of the words "Nerdo is the best (or worst) hacker in the world."

Weatherhead claimed the seized computer belonged to his sister.

Source: BBC





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