Anonymous hackers jailed for PayPal, MasterCard, Visa attacks

Two hacker associated with the infamous Anonymous group have been sentenced to jail time for their role in DDoS attacks on the websites of MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal. 22-year-old Christopher Weatherhead and 28-year-old Ashley Rhodes, both from the UK, will spend 18 months and seven months in jail, respectively.

The attacks costs all the companies involved a large sum of money, and it cost PayPal alone over $5.5 million. Both Weatherhead and Rhodes were found guilty of conducting various DDoS attacks between August 2010 and January 2011, and the sentences are said to be the first convictions for DDoS attacks in the UK.

Co-conspirators Peter Gibson and Jake Birchall also face sentences, although Gibson was sentenced to six months in jail, with a two-year suspension, while Birchall will face the judge on February 1. The hacking group called the attack "Operation Payback" and targeted various payment sites that had withdrawn support from Wikileaks.

Anonymous ended up launching DDoS attacks against PayPal, MasterCard, Swiss bank PostFinance, Visa, and Amazon. The financial impact other websites were not disclosed, although it's said that Weatherhead once bragged online at having caused almost $1.6 million in damage to MasterCard.

[via BBC News]