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One-minute Koch-blocking earns attacker two years, massive fine

Low Orbit Ion Cannon claims another victim

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A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to two years of probation and a fine of $183,000 after pleading guilty to taking part in an Anonymous DDoS attack against the servers of Koch Industries for one minute.

Eric Rosol, 38, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of accessing a protected computer by downloading the Low Orbit Ion Cannon tool propagated by hacking collective Anonymous and using it to attack the Kochind.com website. His involvement lasted one minute before he closed down the software, but investigators were able to backtrace his IP address and bring charges.

The attack took place in February 2011 after Anonymous called for action against Koch Industries, the private company owned by Charles and David Koch. The brothers' funding of right wing and libertarian groups attracted the ire of Anonymous, but the attack only took down the website for around 15 minutes.

Koch Industries acknowledged that the attack caused them less than $5,000 in direct monetary damages but said it hired a consulting firm to defend its website at a cost of $183,000, a bill which Mr. Rosol will now be ordered to pay.

The case is yet another where the deficiencies of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon have led to the arrest of users. The tool, which Anonymous promoted as a way to take activism online, has been mitigated in many respects as an attack tool and it now seems the authorities are getting better at back tracing it, even if it is only used for very short periods of time. ®

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