13 alleged hackers charged with attacks on anti-piracy groups

Oct. 4, 2013 at 8:16 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Virginia prosecutors said they have charged 13 alleged hackers for cyber attacks on institutions that would not process donations to WikiLeaks.

The 13 men, who are allegedly part of the group Anonymous, have been charged with conspiring to intentionally cause damage to protected computers, the indictment states.

The men allegedly participated in cyber attacks on the websites of Mastercard and Visa, as well as anti-piracy groups, such as the U.S. Copyright Office and the Recording Industry of America.

The attacks occurred in 2010, when Anonymous members reportedly retaliated for the shutdown of Pirate Bay, a Swedish file-sharing site.

The indictment marks the latest charges in U.S. prosecutors' efforts to target hackers, namely those associated with Anonymous, the Washington Post reported.

The defendants have been identified as Dennis Owen Collins, Jeremy Leroy Heller, Zhiwei Chen, Joshua S. Phy, Ryan Russell Gubele, Robert Audubon Whitfield, Anthony Tadros, Geoffrey Kenneth Commander, Phillip Garrett Simpson, Austen L. Stamm, Timothy Robert McClain, Wade Carl Williams and Thomas J. Bell.

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