Several IT workers among “Operation Payback” indicted suspects

The latest batch of Anonymous hacktivists who took part in the 2010 Operation Payback against copyright organizations, law firms, US politicians, and financial and e-payment organizations, has been indicted last week in Virginia.

The thirteen men stand accused of having organized and participated – along with other Anonymous members – in a coordinated series of cyber attacks (DDoS) targeting the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the United States Copyright Office of theLibrary of Congress, Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, Amazon, and many others; and of having used and distributed the stress testing / DDoS program known as the Low Orbit Ion Cannon.

These are not the first indictments raised against Anonymous members who took part in this operation, but according to The Verge, these defendants show a little more variety when it comes to age and occupation, bucking the long-standing image of Anonymous hackers as teens with nothing better to do.

Granted, most of the defendants are in their 20s, but two of them – Geoffrey Kenneth Commander and Dennis Owen Collins – are 65 and 53, respectively. 28-year-old Phillip Simpson has worked since 2009 as a system administrator in various companies and the university of Arizona, and is currently working for a bar exam review service. 22-year-old Anthony Tadros is still a student, but has also worked as a security analyst for the university he attends.

And finally, 27-year-old Ryan Gubele has apparently worked for a number of well known companies – including Amazon – as a sysadmin, technical support, systems technician, and so on.

He is currently employed at Twitter as a site reliability engineer and, according to the indictment, he was the one who was keeping an eye on the effectiveness of the DDoS attack against the MPAA site and issued warnings when the site was moved to a different IP address. He also accessed RIAA network resources.

When contacted by Greg Sandoval, Gubele and Simpson declined to comment on the indictment, and Tadros simply said that it was in his best interest not to answer any questions about his situation while the case is ongoing.

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