Anonymous is a major “hacktivist” group that fights for online freedom and is anti-censorship. For example, Anonymous cyber-attacked PayPal after they ceased funding for WikiLeaks, a whistle-blowing website that Julian Assange used to make confidential government documents public. PayPal has taken four alleged members of Anonymous to court for taking down their website using a cyber-attack. PayPal alleges that those actions costed them 3.5 million British pounds or roughly around $5.58 million U.S. Three out of four of the individuals have already entered a guilty plea.
The four people include:
– Ashley Rhodes of Camberwell, South London (27)
– Peter Gibson of Hartlepool (24)
– Christopher Weatherhead of Northampton University (22)
– Another unnamed 18-year-old male
Mr. Weatherhead did not plead guilty. The idea for the attack on PayPal was spearheaded by Mr. Gibson. Mr. Gibson attacked former popstar Lily Allen’s website for her stance against piracy. The attack was known as “Operation Payback.”
PayPal’s website was redirected to a page that stated “You’ve tried to bite the Anonymous hand. You angered the hive and now you are being stung.”