Two members of Anonymous group which aims at attacking high-profile websites, such as those belonging to government departments, banks and political organizations were jailed on Thursday for carrying out cyber-attacks which cost one website £3.5MILLION.The Mirror Reports
Christopher Weatherhead, 22, from Northampton was given an 18-month sentence for conspiring to impair the operation of computers.Ashley Rhodes, 28, from Camberwell, south London, was handed seven months for the same charge.
The self-styled “hacktivists” targeted websites as part of their Operation Payback because they did not agree with the companies’ views.
Visitors to websites including Mastercard, PayPal and Visa were routed to a page with the message: “You’ve tried to bite the Anonymous hand. You angered the hive and now you are being stung.”
Peter Gibson, 24, from Hartlepool, admitted playing a lesser role in the conspiracy and was given a six-month suspended sentence.
Jake Birchal, 18, from Chester, has also admitted conspiracy and will be sentenced later.
Prosecutor Joel Smith said it was a “persistent campaign” designed to “cause damage, financial losses and Press exposure”.
Judge Peter Testar said: “It is intolerable that when an individual or a group disagrees with a particular entity’s activities they should be free to curtail that activity by means of attacks such as those which took place in this case.”
However, he also noted that their aims were not to cause permanent damage or to steal information from the sites.