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back to article Suspects in PayPal web attack not so anonymous after all

Some of the suspects accused of participating in a December attack organized by the Anonymous hacker collective that caused numerous service disruptions on PayPal were shocked to learn that the net isn't all that anonymous, or that it's illegal to impair other people's computers. According to The New York Times, some of the 14 …

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Bronze badge

My heart bleeds.

See title.

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Coat

Really? If so...

See a cardiologist.

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J 3
Facepalm

Didn't know?

Hm... hard to believe that a 26 year-old programmer (even is self taught) wouldn't have an idea that DDoS was somewhat illegal. If the guy was 14, I might believe he didn't know.

Now, the guy who just downloaded the attack software should be left alone -- unless he used the software in an attack, of course. Or is police now going to persecute people based on what they read or download? Oh, wait...

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Mushroom

I don't know

I've met a lot of programmers who have a weird "if it's beneficial to me, screw them" version of morality that really conflicts with the way our law works. I can imagine this is just the sort of thing they might think is legal.

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FAIL

version of morality that really conflicts with the way our law works

cool

where do you live?

sounds like a great place, i'd like to live there!

hang on...

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Flame

While I have little sympathy for the people involved in this

It is rather telling that when you mess with a financial institution's money supply you get up to 15 years, but when a financial institution messes witth our money they get a publicly-funded bail-out with a managerial bonus on top.

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Thumb Up

Don't Forget....

When they chronically nick their customers' monthly bills they get no retribution and pure PROFIT!

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Anonymous Coward

If only life were so simple...

Yes, the Banks did screw up, and yes, some new rules need to be defined. Let's not forget however that it was the Labour government who introduced the legislation that allowed them to do it.

Let's also not forget that they weren't given free money. The country now owns the banks, and the country gets its money back WITH LOTS OF EXTRA INTEREST.

This comment will likely get a lot of down votes, but when you get back into the real world you'll realise we cannot live without the banks, and if we want free banking, they need to make their profits elsewhere.

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Silver badge

really?

I thought the toxic parts were being kept as a loss making government owned entity and only the profitable parts sold off as a "no profit" exercise? The shares cannot be sold in bulk and can only be sold at set times - regardless of market price.

It was a bailout and protected the fat cats.

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Anonymous Coward

Well, that was how the SOLD it,

but that wasn't what the DID. The toxic bits are actually still in the mortgage stream, which is part of why the real estate market hasn't started recovering yet. But the hand waving did get the bond market moving again, which was all they were really worried about. And part of the reason nobody talks about the toxic bits still being in the mortgage stream, is that if they did the credit stream would freeze again.

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Bronze badge

Well...

"Keith Downey, (...) likened the web attack to college sit-ins of the 1970s and to Gandhi's civil disobedience movement against British rule in India."

...And those people faced police beating and jail terms -- often repeatedly -- for their disobedience. Actions have consequences, Keith, and if you believe that your actions were the correct ones, then you accept the consequences. That's the lesson that you were (allegedly) trying to demonstrate to PayPal, now it's your turn.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree with the sentiment

But 15 years?!

Only a psychopath would agree that that is a suitable punishment.

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Maximum term != received sentance

Yeah, but it's the maximum term. They aren't likely to get that, unless they have previous for the same crime. The judge decides what punishment is appropriate given the circumstances.

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Unhappy

Or maybe

feels like setting an example

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Anonymous Coward

Good point...

...I let that number 15 year number get to my head.

Hopefully the judge is tech-savvy enough to know exactly how much this person did in relation to the overall crime and not think he was some sort of blofeld mastermind because he cannot understand the technical points.

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Stupid people...

Stupid people deserve to suffer; it's the only way they learn.

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Stupid people

Who is stupider the one that fights for his freedoms or the person who lets their freedoms get trampled on?

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As far as I'm concerned,

the courts ARE fighting to protect MY civil liberties on this one, and the anonymous twits are the tyrants using unethical means to impose their will on everyone else.

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Big Brother

College sit-ins?

Not well versed in history either. The Man is not easily rattled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings

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I knew it!

They're just collecting LOIC users whenever they need an Anonymous arrest to look good in the papers. Tossers. Mind you, Anonymous aren't any better, using real people as chaff.

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Happy

self-taught programmers

Is this different from self-proclaimed programmers?

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Boffin

re: self-taught programmers

self-taught programmers = script kiddie

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programmer?

Well, 'self' something, anyway.

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WTF?

wtf?

Nobody taught me how to program. Been making a living at it for over 25 years. What's your problem exactly? Don't like that some people don't need to go to college to get a job coding?

Of course, if you can't work it out yourself you will need someone to instruct you. I've always learnt by doing...

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Stop

No.

Some of us are capable of teaching ourselves things using books and this wonderful thing called 'the internet'. Different learning techniques for different folks. Self taught != incompetent.

Your script kiddie may not be self taught either.

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Anonymous Coward

Should people this dumb be allowed online?

REALLY? Are these folks THAT dumb or do they think the media is dumb enough to believe their story?

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Happy

Errm, those options..

Those options aren't mutually exclusive. I'd say both :-).

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titile

fbi and atf running guns to mexico that have killed people = ok.

go after corporate america after corporate america attempts to silence the voice of the people = the real threat.

what a system we have.

It's no wonder everything is coming up roses in the USA.

The government serves corporate america and where has that left us?

We have a system where if you go over $1 on your checking account you can be charged $35-45 overdraft fees. Government sees that as fine. However using your internet connection to voice your feelings about an issue; now that's just criminal!

All the while the isps could of simply suspended people. After all they know what your doing with your connection anyhow so they knew the attacks were going on. Will comcast, verizon, etc... be held liable for the attacks? They provided the means.

If someone does you wrong does that give you permission to retaliate months down the road with your goons? It does if your paypal.

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Silver badge

I guess you haven't notice Congress is investigating

that government sanctioned gun running operation with an eye toward changing some wardrobes to wide horizontal stripes.

....

Oh, that's right, those hearings are being run by gun-toting Republican cowboys so you're assuming they can't possibly advance civil liberties.

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Stop

RE: titile

"fbi and atf running guns to mexico that have killed people = ok....." If you are referring to the ludicrous Gunwalker scheme, that was driven by Eric Holder's Justice Department and opposed by the ATF, FBI and Border Patrol agents on the ground. So you can thank Obambi's righthand man for that.

".....go after corporate america after corporate america attempts to silence the voice of the people = the real threat....." If Dikileaks was even close to being "the voice of the people", it would have plenty of funding and not need Paypal, the paywall, or alledged contributions from George Soros. And it was Lieberman, an elected US politician, that kicked off the bloackade of Dikileaks, not corporate America, and in response to the illegal leaking/sale of secret US documents.

"....However using your internet connection to voice your feelings about an issue; now that's just criminal!...." You can use your internet connection to spout whatever rubbish you like, as long as it's not defamatory or inciting violence, just as you are doing now. But using LOIC to attack a website was a criminal act as well as just an incredibly stupid one.

".....If someone does you wrong does that give you permission to retaliate months down the road with your goons?!...." First off, no goons involved, these were arrests made by law officers. And it does if you commit a crime, you numpty!

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Silver badge

FTFY

"If someone does you wrong does that give you permission to retaliate months down the road with your goons? It does if your paypal."

Let me fix that for you: If noone does you wrong does that give you permission to retaliate months down the road with your goons? It does if you're Anonymous.

No, generally ISP cannot be held responsible for what their users do, AS IT SHOULD BE. You are responsible for your own actions. Participating in a DDoS is a crime, it has been for quite some time, AND IT SHOULD BE. Investigating and prosecuting said crime does take months, that is a complete non-sequitor. This type of vigilantism cannot be tolerated by a society, and this is a case study in why. You do not have the right to attack a site because you do not like them.

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Anonymous Coward

The focus is backwards...

Paypal CEO's should get 15 years for locking people out of their own accounts.

There's the story which should have absolute focus.

The attacks against paypal are because paypal is like a bankster, unaccountable. There are no rules for paypal they do what ever they want.

Maybe instead of hacking paypal, they ought to just go physically after the owners of paypal, with FISTS.

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FAIL

Oh dear

Anonymous started out looking cool. "We are Anonymous, we are legion"

That should be changed to "We are Anonymous, we are morons"

Or are the cool ones at the top and it's just the bottom feeders getting arrested?

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To sir barry

The people who got arrested are probably not Anonymous they are probably just people who were framed and had nothing to do with it. I mean the government has never lied to the people or framed any one right?

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Ru
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Facepalm

Re: Oh dear

So, "Anonymous" has managed a handful of reasonably competent hacks and social engineering attacks. The people arrested as being part of "Anonymous" are all idiots, who demonstrate no such skills.

What does this tell you?

I suspect all the arrests will be idiot LOIC users who not only had no idea how to cover their tracks but believed that LOIC-driven DDOS attacks would actually accomplish anything at all.

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Anonymous Coward

Geeks

"even a young man whose only celebrity before last week's arrest was that he dressed up as Harry Potter for a movie premier"

Wow, from now on I'll deny knowing anything about computers to avoid the potential embarassement of being likewise stereotyped.

Maybe he could wave his magic wand to make the allegations disappear?

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FAIL

Very famous phase..

ignorance of the law does not excuse.

That is all.

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Status Quo

if you are fighting against the status quo then whatever you are doing will eventually be considered illegal including speaking your mind.

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Joke

Re: Status Quo

If you are truly fighting the Status Quo, my top tip would be to take out Francis Rossi first, he's the dangerous one. Rick Parfitt looks scary, but he's a pussy cat really.

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FAIL

Very little sympathy.

Very little sympathy - they knew what they were doing was wrong. If someone said jump off a cliff would they?

Lemmings.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Very little sympathy

Perhaps they did know what they were doing was wrong (or did you mean illegal?), but

- some of them said they don't believe their actions were illegal - possibly lying of course.

- at least one of them was arrested for talking to the wrong people and downloading the wrong software.

- the old "jump off a cliff" thing is a response to somebody trying to defend their actions on the basis of somebody else having done the same thing and is totally irrelevant here.

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