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Anonymous Defense


Jay Leiderman, a lawyer representing Christopher Doyon, alleged Anonymous hacktivist Commander X, argues that a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is not a crime, but a form of legal protest, a digital sit-in, and protected speech.

Wednesday, Leiderman, speaking to TPM, said: There’s no such thing as a DDoS attack. A DDoS is a protest; it’s a digital sit-it. It is no different than physically occupying a space. It’s not a crime, it’s speech. Nothing was malicious, there was no malware, no Trojans. This was merely a digital sit-in.



A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a planned attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. Multiple users send repeated requests to a website, thus flooding the servers.

It is important to distinguish between a voluntary DDoS attack, the type of attack Anonymous is known for, and the involuntary DDoS attack which involves using “botnets” made up of slave computers infected with malware, all done without the knowledge or permission of the computer’s owner.

The voluntary type of DDoS involve a high volume of users all voluntarily participating, requesting information from the same targeted server simultaneously, and thus making the selected computer resource unavailable to intended users, just as a sit-in blocks access to a particular site or resource.

There are several similar, Anonymous related cases headed for court across the US and other contries. Whether or not a judge and jury will accept the sit-in defense remains to be seen. Yet one thing seems certain, charging those who in good conscience participated in such a relatively harmless cyber protest like a voluntary DDoS attack should not be subject to felony charges.

It's an interesting defense, and it might get tricky to prove that there is something illegal about in a lot of people doing something legal (accessing a web site) and not causing any demonstrable harm...

On the other hand, prosecutors can claim that these attacks caused serious hampering of the business flow causing serious financial damages in the process.

Let's wait and see what happens...

Harvard University website hacked

Harvard University website attacked by Syrian hackers


Syrian hackers have hit the website of Harvard University, one of America’s most prestigious universities. The hacked home page showed a message saying the "Syrian Electronic Army Were Here" along with a picture of Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

A Harvard spokesman stated that "The University's homepage was compromised by an outside party this morning. We took down the site for several hours in order to restore it. The attack appears to have been the work of a sophisticated individual or group".

The hackers also criticized US policy towards President Assad`s regime and wrote several threats to the US. The new design stayed online on the website for nearly an hour.

LulzSec suspected members arrested

The FBI has recently arrested two alleged members of the hacking group LulzSec and Anonymous in Phoenix and San Francisco.




The person arrested in Arizona is a student at a technical university and allegedly participated in the widely publicized hack against Sony.

The suspected hacker arrested in California, who is reported to be homeless, and alleged to have been involved in the hacking of Santa Cruz County government websites. Just because a man is homeless, of course, doesn't mean that he can't get an internet connection. Coffee houses, cafes, libraries, etc can all offer cheap or free internet access - and because the computer being used can be a shared device, it may be harder to identify who might have been responsible for an attack compared to a PC at a home.

These arrests shouldn't surprise anyone because they made two fundamental mistakes: They brought too much attention to themselves and they didn't cover up their tracks.

The logs maintained by HideMyAss.com, in addition to other evidence, has led to the arrest of Cody Kretsinger, 23, from Phoenix, who allegedly used this anonymity service during his role in the attack on Sony Pictures.

According to HideMyAss.com, “…services such as ours do not exist to hide people from illegal activity. We will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if it has become evident that your account has been used for illegal activities.” The service stores logs for 30-days when it comes to Website proxy services, and they store the connecting IP address, as well as time stamps for those using the VPN offerings.



The FBI believes that the homeless man they arrested was "Commander X", a member of the People's Liberation Front (PLF) associated with Anonymous hacktivism. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted.