UK hacker 'Nerdo' jailed for role in cyber attack against 'enemies of Wikileaks'

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 06:10 hrs

A 22-year-old student in Britain has been jailed for his involvement in cyber attacks by the Anonymous hacking group against companies it saw as enemies of Wikileaks.

Northampton University student Christopher Weatherhead, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment his key role as a "high-level operator" in Anonymous.

He helped organise the self-styled 'Operation Payback' attacks through online chat rooms, prosecutors said.

Two others, Ashley Rhodes, 28, of Camberwell, and Peter Gibson, 24, of Hartlepool, were jailed for seven months and for six months respectively, the Telegraph reports.

Anonymous, the notorious Internet hacking group, who claims to have no formal leadership, attacked online services including PayPal, Visa and Mastercard in 2010 after they stopped processing donations destined for Wikileaks, the whistle blowing website founded by Julian Assange.

During the trial, PayPal told the court the distributed denial of service attacks, which sought to force it offline by overloading servers, had cost it 3.5 million pounds, with "considerable damage to its reputation and loss of trade".

The court heard that Weatherhead had 'played a central and integral role in the overall effectiveness' of the attacks under the online alias "Nerdo". (ANI)

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