Police breakthrough in 'Anonymous' hacking case

A young man has been convicted after organising distributed denial of service attacks on a number of businesses.

Police say four men were involved in the crimes using the banner 'Anonymous'.

Christopher Wetherhead of Holly Road, Northampton was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, the operation of a computer.

Christopher Wetherhead was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit unauthorised acts with intent to impair. Credit: Met Police

The three others are Jake Alexander Birchall of Little Neston, Cheshire, Ashley Rhodes of Bolton Crescent, London and Peter David Gibson of Castleton Road, Hartlepool, Cleveland.

Working under online nicknames including 'Nerdo' and 'NikonElite', the group targeted a number of companies from the digital entertainment industry that make up the anti-piracy lobby.

The group then switched their attentions to companies including Mastercard and PayPal after their withdrawal of services from Wikileaks.

DCI Terry Wilson of the Police Central e-Crime Unit, said: "These are important convictions which confirm this type of activity is not merely civil protest but is serious criminal conduct.

"The activity has not only significant financial and reputational implications to businesses endeavouring to operate online but also an effect on the general public's right to access online services.

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