UK student convicted of denial of service attack

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Associated Press

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 6 at 10:04 AM

LONDON (AP) — A London jury has convicted a 22-year-old student and member of the hacking group Anonymous of taking part in cyberattacks on several major companies' computer systems.

Self-described "hacktivist" Christopher Weatherhead showed no emotion Thursday after being convicted of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers. The attacks hit the sites of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and several others. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Prosecutor Russell Tyner says Weatherhead and his fellow conspirators targeted companies in the music industry involved in combating Internet piracy and firms that had stopped processing online donations to the data-leaking site WikiLeaks. Tyner says the attacks cost these companies over 3.5 million pounds ($5.6 million).

The cybercrime spree focused attention on Anonymous, a loose-knit collection of Web-savvy activists and Internet pranksters.

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