Late last week, 13 alleged members of shady hacktivist group Anonymous were indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against several companies.
The indictment describes that the attacks were a part of “Operation Payback”, an orchestrated series of DDoS attacks in September 2010, which target victims such as Visa, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the Recording Industry Association of America. Anonymous’ attack on these sites was motivated by the 2010 shut down of Swedish torrenting site The Pirate Bay.
The 13 defendants range in age from 21 to 65, though they were by no means the only participants in Anonymous’ attacks. Part of the indictment includes a post on a Web bulletin board which was allegedly written by one of the defendants to advertise the attack to other users. The post gave instructions on how to participate in the attack as well as an explanation of their strategy; through this post and others like it, thousands of other Anonymous members were able to participate in the attack with only a few clicks.
It is as yet unclear whether or not any of the other thousands of participants will be charged over the attacks.