On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, a federal Grand Jury in Los Angeles indicted Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, a member of the cyber hate group Anonymous, for his part in the January 2008 attempted destruction of Scientology websites owned by the Church of Scientology.
Mettenbrink, 20, is charged with conspiracy and “transmission of a code, information, program, or command to a protected computer.” The indictment states that he obtained a computer program from an Anonymous website and executed a “DDOS” attack from his dormitory at Iowa State University against Church computers in Los Angeles. A DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack occurs where a large amount of malicious Internet traffic is directed at a website or a set of websites, with the intent to overwhelm and shut down the websites.
Mettenbrink is the second member of Anonymous to face criminal charges relating to this attack. In May 2009, Dmitriy Guzner, then 18, pleaded guilty to computer hacking charges for his role in the attack on Church computers. He is currently awaiting sentencing.
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