Feeds

Second US man admits DDoS attack on Scientology

Not so Anonymous after all

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A Nebraska man has admitted he participated in a mass attack last year that briefly brought the Church of Scientology's website to its knees.

In a plea agreement signed Friday, Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, 20, said he downloaded custom software from a message board controlled by the anti-Scientology group known as Anonymous with the intent of inflicting damage to the COS, or Church of Scientology.

"Defendant used that software to, without authorization, access the COS websites at such a high rate that it impaired the integrity and availability of the COS websites and the computer system where they were hosted," the agreement stated.

Mettenbrink was scheduled to stand trial next month on charges that in late January of 2008, he took part in attacks that left websites associated with the COS intermittently unavailable. A group calling itself Anonymous took credit for the crippling denial-of-service attacks and said it was part of an ongoing war it had declared against the highly secretive group.

He is scheduled to formally enter his guilty plea in court next week, according to a release issued by the US Attorney's office in Los Angeles.

Mettenbrink will become the second individual to plead guilty in the attacks. In October 2008, Dmitriy Guzner, then an 18-year-old from Verona, New Jersey, admitted he also helped carry out the attacks. In November, he was sentenced to more than a year in federal prison.

Anonymous launched the campaign against the COS after the organization demanded websites pull a video of Tom Cruise that was shot at an church awards event. Tactics used in the campaign included nuisance phone calls to COS premises, denial-of-service attacks, and monthly protests outside COS facilities. Members of the loosely-affiliated group are known for wearing Guy Fawkes-style masks during protests.

The plea agreement said Mettenbrink and prosecutors agreed that 12 months of incarceration was an appropriate sentence, but the judge will have the final say. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.