Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Anonymous defendants in court, attacks 'cost PayPal £3.5m'

Northampton university student was part of the DDoS campaign against PayPal for refusing to process Wikileaks payments

Article comments

The Anonymous hacking group cost PayPal £3.5 million when it carried out an attack on its websites, it was alleged in court this week.

The court in London heard that student Christopher Weatherhead, 22, was studying at Northampton University when he purportedly took part in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign against PayPal.

It was said that Weatherhead was part of the Anonymous hacking group, which targeted companies who opposed internet piracy, but who later attacked PayPal after it refused to process Wikileaks payments.

Weatherhead denies a charge of conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to impair the operation of computers between 1 August 2010 and 22 January 2011. Three other men have already pleaded guilty to the charge.

As well as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, the Ministry of Sound, the British Recorded Music Industry and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry were also targeted by the Anonymous group.

Prosecutor Sandip Patel said PayPal was chosen after it refused in December 2010 to process payments for the Wau Holland Foundation, which was raising money to keep Wikileaks going.

Weatherhead is said to have used the online name Nerdo, when posting plans for the attacks on an internet relay chat (IRC) channel hosted in Russia.

Patel said PayPal was the victim of a series of attacks "which caused considerable damage to its reputation and loss of trade".

He said more than 100 workers from PayPal's parent company eBay spent three weeks working on issues related to the attacks. PayPal, it was heard, also had to pay for more software and hardware to defend against similar attacks in the future. Patel said the total cost to the firm was "estimated at £3.5 million".

The prosecution said the BPI, which was the subject of an attack in September 2010, had paid out £3,996 for improved online security, whilst the Ministry of Sound had spent an extra £9,000 on security after its four websites were attacked in October 2010.

Weatherhead's home had been raided on 27 January 2011, where computer equipment was seized. The trial is continuing.


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *