Alleged Anonymous hacker rescued off Cuba by Disney cruise ship

FBI: It's a small, small world (after all)

Martin Gottesfeld

A man sought by the FBI for his alleged involvement in an Anonymous hacking campaign has been arrested after being rescued at sea.

Martin Gottesfeld, 31, had been under investigation by the FBI since October 2014 after a hacking attack that April against the Boston Children's Hospital. The hospital was involved in a bitter, highly publicized custody battle with the parents of a 15 year-old child, known as Patient A.

The attack crippled some of the hospital's systems for almost a week, causing damage estimated at over $300,000. Gottesfeld was aware he was a target for investigation after the FBI raided his home, and a couple of weeks ago he and his wife disappeared.

Family and friends were left mystified as to his location, but on Tuesday the FBI got a call from Disney, saying one of its cruise ships had found Gottesfeld and his wife adrift and in trouble on a sailboat just off the coast of Cuba. After rescuing the pair, the ship returned to port in Miami, whereupon they were arrested by the Feds.

Gottesfeld has been charged with one count of conspiracy, with the FBI claiming that he posted a video on YouTube on behalf of Anonymous calling for the attack against the hospital and linking to a Pastebin page containing details of the hospital's servers.

The video, using the disguised voice characteristic of Anonymous videos, claimed that the group "will punish all those held accountable and will not relent until [Patient A] is free."

After a 16-month custody battle with the hospital, Patent A, later revealed to be Connecticut teenager Justina Pelletier, was released back to her parents by the hospital. The attack, while concerning, did not have any effect on the decision to return the child to her family.

Meanwhile, Gottesfeld faces a maximum of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 and restitution. His wife has not been charged. ®

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