WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A Wisconsin man who joined an Anonymous hacker attack for one minute has been sentenced to two years of federal probation and ordered to pay $183,000 in restitution to Koch Industries.
Eric J. Rosol, 38, admitted to federal prosecutors in taking part in the Feb. 28, 2011 DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attack by the hacker group Anonymous, IT World reports. The attack on the Koch Industries website – Kochind.com – brought down the webpage for a total of 15 minutes.
According to the Justice Department, Rosol pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor count of accessing a protected computer using the Low Orbit Ion Cannon Code software which was found on his computer.
The hackers’ attack lasted only one minute.
The company owners, David and Charles Koch, were allegedly targeted due to their efforts against the bargaining power of trade unions, IT World reports. The Wichita, Kan.-based company owns a wide range of businesses in energy and manufacturing fields.
Rosol was prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – legislation passed in the 1980s that is still used to prosecute online crimes today. Many online activists argue that sentences handed down under the legislation rarely fit the crime, and are often harsher than punishments given to physical crimes.
The $183,000 monetary fine is equivalent to what Koch Industries paid to have a consulting group fix their website following the attack.
According to PC World, another member of Anonymous – Jeremy Hammond, 28 – was sentenced last month to 10 years in prison for hacking into the analysis firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). Although he accessed consumers’ credit card information and email addresses, many have said he is simply a whistle blower against government surveillance and data tracking.