KABOOM! 16 Arrested In Alleged DDoS Attack Against PayPal; FBI Executes 35 Search Warrants ‘Throughout The United States’ In Cybercrime Probes

EDITOR’S NOTE: Having experienced DDoS attacks that crippled our ability to publish and inform readers, researchers and victims of Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes and other forms of fraud about investigations, arrests and court cases, the PP Blog is not sympathetic to the points of view of the attackers and their apologists.

Readers and researchers have come to rely on the PP Blog as an important information source. Victims and persons affected by various schemes visit the Blog daily, as do financial institutions performing research on potential trouble spots and law-enforcement agencies at the local, regional, national and international levels.

The PP Blog, whose monthly costs have increased more than tenfold owing to sustained DDoS attacks beginning last fall, frequently writes about the incongruities that often accompany Ponzi and other fraud schemes. Hackers, DDoSers and cyber bullies use the same type of illogical and incongruous “explanations” to rationalize their particular brand of crime.

DDoS attacks, cyber intrusions and cyber bullying chill speech and threaten domestic and international security, thus putting both commerce and the free marketplace of ideas at risk. Period.

It is simply untrue that hackers, cyber bullies and DDoSers are the modern-day equivalent of freedom fighters. Simply put, they are anarchists who do not respect private and public property, rules of decorum, the rights of sovereign nations and the rights of people living free or yearning to live free. Nor do they respect the rights of merchants, information purveyors and their customers, clients and readers to have access to the marketplace of commerce and ideas.

Many of the attackers and cyber bullies, though, would have you believe the opposite — that they’re serving a higher good by bringing down a server, by harassing people and companies on the Internet and even cackling about it, by subjecting their targets to economic and potentially even physical danger, by forcing their will on individuals and entities with whom they have political or philosophical disagreements.

Here, now, the story of yesterday’s arrests . . .

The FBI arrested 16 individuals and executed more than 35 search warrants “throughout the United States” yesterday in a coordinated response to cyber attacks, including last year’s DDos attack on PayPal and intrusion attacks on AT&T and on InfraGard in Tampa Bay.

InfraGard is an FBI-led, public-private partnership that shares information on terrorism, intelligence, criminal and security matters.

Separately, authorities in Europe rounded up five more individuals for alleged cyber crimes.

Although some of the alleged attackers apparently see themselves as advocates for a free exchange of ideas and modern avengers for societal injustices, the U.S. Department of Justice described them as free-wheeling marauders who attacked two famous companies and the FBI-led public-private partnership.

After WikiLeaks “released a large amount of classified U.S. State Department cables on its website” last year, members of the Anonymous hacking group retaliated by executing a “coordinated”  DDoS attack on PayPal, which had blocked WikiLeaks’ ability to collect donations for a Terms of Service violation, U.S. officials said.

Anonymous, according to the Justice Department, even had a name for its PayPal assault: “Operation Avenge Assange.” Beyond that, WikiLeaks itself declared that PayPal was trying “to economically strangle WikiLeaks,” the Justice Department said.

Julian Assange, who is under investigation in Sweden for alleged sexual assaults, is the founder of WikiLeaks. He has denied wrongdoing.

In bringing the attacks, members of Anonymous compromised the ability of legitimate PayPal users to access the PayPay website, the Justice Department said. Fourteen people were charged in a federal indictment brought in San Jose, Calif., that alleges a conspiracy to damage protected computers at PayPal.

Named in the San Jose indictment were Christopher Wayne Cooper, 23, aka “Anthrophobic”; Joshua John Covelli, 26, aka “Absolem” and “Toxic”; Keith Wilson Downey, 26; Mercedes Renee Haefer, 20, aka “No” and “MMMM”; Donald Husband, 29, aka “Ananon”; Vincent Charles Kershaw, 27, aka “Trivette,” “Triv” and “Reaper”; Ethan Miles, 33; James C. Murphy, 36; Drew Alan Phillips, 26, aka “Drew010”; Jeffrey Puglisi, 28, aka “Jeffer,” “Jefferp” and “Ji”; Daniel Sullivan, 22; Tracy Ann Valenzuela, 42; and Christopher Quang Vo, 22.

One individual’s name was withheld by the court, the agency said. The reason was unclear.

Charged in the Middle District of Florida in the alleged InfraGard attack was Scott Matthew Arciszewski, 21. The Justice Department described him as a hacker who uploaded files without authorization and provided instructions “on how to exploit the Tampa InfraGard website.”

Meanwhile, in a complaint in federal court in New Jersey, Lance Moore, 21, of Las Cruces, N.M., was charged with stealing information from AT&T and posting it on a public file-sharing site.

The Metropolitan Police Service in the United Kingdom also made a cyber-crime arrest yesterday, and the Dutch National Police Agency made four arrests, the Justice Department said.

About the Author

5 Responses to “KABOOM! 16 Arrested In Alleged DDoS Attack Against PayPal; FBI Executes 35 Search Warrants ‘Throughout The United States’ In Cybercrime Probes”

  1. just what exactly does hactivism and ddos have to do with “fraud and ponzi schemes” the revolution is beginning, are you a statist or are you with the people, pick a side or gtfo.


  2. Oh and I almost forgot, has it not occurred to you that the whole global financial system is one big ponzi scheme? so really, who are the criminals? Criminality is systemic, from the top to the bottom, oh yeah we get tossed in prison for 10 years for some petty ddos while these bankers, wall street scum, and corrupt politicians are guilty of far worse, oh but its ok, they are the “good guys” right? GTFO

  3. fixer, why am I getting the idea that you have no clue what the definition of a Ponzi scheme is, and are using it as a buzzword rather than for what it actually means?

  4. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for hackers but DDoSing Paypal has nothing to do with hindering free speech. Frankly, it couldn’t have happened to a better company. Paypal is a hideous corporate entity which extorts usurious sums of money from people who want to conduct transactions over the internet. It would be great if they were DDoSed right out of business.

  5. What a great idea.

    Why not have a “tit-for-tat” legal system ??

    That way, anyone who doesn’t get their own way or feels disenchanted with the world can have an exemption from prosecution and carry out a equally illegal act or acts.

    I don’t like thew way the guy down the street treats his dog, so I’m fully entitled to go down there, block his driveway and stop him earning a living.


    that’ll work.