A criminal indictment was filed against “part of the online group ANONYMOUS in a campaign dubbed “OPERATION PAYBACK” …to engage in a coordinated series of cyber-attacks” with one charge of Conspiracy to Intentionally Cause Damage to a Protected Computer (18 U.S.C. § 371).

The New York Times reported that the in the case of the US v. Dennis Own Collins and 12 other defendants caused “significant damage to victims.” The defendants allegedly “…launched, or attempted to launch, cyber-attacks against entities including the”:

  • Recording Industry Association of America (“RIAA”)
  • Motion Picture Association of America (“MPAA”),
  • United States Copyright Office of the Library of Congress,
  • Visa,
  • MasterCard, and
  • Bank of America

The indictment states that defendants allegedly used “…Distributed Denial of Service (“DDoS”) attacks as:

…a coordinated series of cyber-attacks against victim websites by flooding those websites with a huge volume of irrelevant Internet traffic with the intent to make the resources on the websites unavailable to customers and users of those websites.

Cyber threats continue to be headline news, and this indictment is a good sign that the US government is taking decisive action.