back to article PayPal 13 plead guilty to launching DDoS attacks

Thirteen US defendants last week pleaded guilty to taking part in attacks by Anonymous against PayPal. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said the accused had all admitted to carrying out a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber-attack against PayPal in December 2010 in protest against the payment processing firm's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    will the plea for clemency fall on deaf ears?

    I don't mean the authorities, who may or not demand harsh sentencing, nor the judge who may hand them out, but current and prospective employers.....who can - up to a point - do what they like outside a public framework for justice.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: will the plea for clemency fall on deaf ears?

      The plea for clemency must fall on deaf ears, because clemency will only encourage further offending, as it did in Assange's case; if you remember Assange was convicted on 17 (or was it 19) counts, and let off with a gentle reprimand and an advisory to the effect that next time he would go to gaol. He made good and sure that he was not caught. So far. For spotty faced obnoxoids who used the LOIC, it should be Tango Sierra. They must pay for what they did, and this has to deter others.

      1. Khaptain

        Re: will the plea for clemency fall on deaf ears?

        I can hear the bullets being inserted into the magazine, click, click.

        Will the first accused please face the firing squad enter the accused box and swear at on the bible.

      2. Graham Marsden

        @Scorchio!! - Re: will the plea for clemency fall on deaf ears?

        "clemency will only encourage further offending"

        The Daily Mail comments page is over there ->

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: @Scorchio!! - will the plea for clemency fall on deaf ears?

          ""clemency will only encourage further offending"

          The Daily Mail comments page is over there ->"

          Actually no, AFAICT no one from that rag would employ the principles of behavioural psychology, in which when an animal (human or otherwise) learns, by proxy/vicariously or by direct learning, that in committing an offence it can 'get away with it', it will compute the odds and behave accordingly. This kind of thinking is behind a great deal of so-called 'cyber crime', especially when the offenders are convinced they are 'anonymous'.

          The point underlying my post is that it is not the place of a business or organisation that has been on the wrong end of this kind of offensive behaviour to plea; the point is that others have the right to expect that the law deals with these people appropriately. Clemency can only encourage them. That is the point of law and that is the psychology underlying the law.

          If you wish to trawl the Daily Mail comments pages, well fine, but you will not find behavioural psychology there.

          As to your remarks taken as a whole, I see the Beano is online; otherwise perhaps a crayon.

          1. Graham Marsden

            Re: @Scorchio!! - will the plea for clemency fall on deaf ears?

            Just because you dress it up in big words doesn't meant that you're not (either intentionally or through ignorance) agreeing with the Daily Mail's default "Hang them and flog them" position of demanding harsh sentences because "that's the only way they'll learn their lesson and not do it again"

            And they would, of course, also agree with you that "it is not the place of a business or organisation that has been on the wrong end of this kind of offensive behaviour to plea", but at the same time, they would no doubt consider that "victim impact statements" should be taken into consideration by the courts when determining the severity of the sentence.

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: will the plea for clemency fall on deaf ears?

      The only clemency that makes sense is to divvy up any financial penalties between the thirteen of them and also anything they may get for the plea bargain.

      Current and prospective employers will check for a criminal record anyway, that's the one automatic penalty for being found guilty of *any* crime.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    People Liberation front F*ck off we are the Liberation front of the people... people liberation front Honestly

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: PLF

      People Liberation front F*ck off we are the Liberation front of the people... people liberation front Honestly"

      Read Tom Sharpe's Wilt, and The Wilt alternative, where you will find the pages covered, nay smeared, in parodies of such idiots. I laughed until the tears ran down my cheeks. For such fools the ballot box holds no attraction, and they know better than you and I, the electorate; we suffer from false consciousness whereas the PLF do not. They know the truth. Hah.

    2. Colin Millar
      Big Brother

      Re: PLF

      Yeah - The People - that gaseous construct used to fill (yet another) of the gaping holes in Marxist theory like a bad plot device.

      Shouty people need The People to exist in order to justify their desperate need to know what's best for everyone. The problem is if they end up in charge they find that people look nothing like The People and the vast majority of them need re-educating or shooting.

      The problem for revolutionaries isn't that people are stupid - it's that they are not stupid enough.

      So M anonymous - just remember - you speak only for yourself - just like EU commissioners, philosophers with god complexes and tinpot despots.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PLF

        Hey dickhead, you speak only for yourself.

        Those Anons, however, spoke for me.

  3. Crisp

    What is the difference (if any) between the following:

    1) Using LOIC during a coordinated attack.

    2) Using LOIC by yourself.

    3) Leaving a brick on F5.

    1. Mtech25

      Re: What is the difference (if any) between the following:

      You Need to balance the brick properly so it doesn't fall off

      1. theblackhand

        Re: What is the difference (if any) between the following:

        Are you sure that a person used to "hacking" with LOIC would be able to manage the complexity of balancing a brick on the F5 key? Wouldn't they just ask for someone else to do it for them?

        1. Mtech25

          Re: What is the difference (if any) between the following:

          Hmmm I know I will design a small stand for the brick made of plastic... wait we want it to be environmentally friendly so let’s make it out of cardboard and i shall call it "the stand" the tag line can be as follows "stick it to the big government with this environmentally friendly brick stand now only 19.95” (excluding postage and packing) (brick 9.95 extra)

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: What is the difference (if any) between the following:

      My alternative to your brick is a stapler, it doesnt get rubbish anywhere and can be better placed for the F5 key.

      Just so I don't get slapped over the head with a truncheon‎ by the old bill I use it for software where I need to hit Enter 15 million times.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: What is the difference (if any) between the following:

      The brick balanced on the F5 key could later be usefully re-purposed as a bookend.

      The brick balanced on the f5 key could be sold at yard/garage sale for 5 cents or the equivalent thereof.

      The brick could be usefully re-purposed to fend off an actual physical attack if you encountered one.

      You would actually support the local economy by buying more bricks to balance on other F5 keys.

      The brick could be used in a live demonstration of the laws of motion and gravity. (Cool be really cool if paired with a Raspberry Pi and some other electronic gear.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accused of DDoS?

    Off topic personal analysis: Now, as more and more Anonymous hackers are being exposed, having average age below 30, and no obvious red land links, having anonymity inside the brotherhood as well, good or bad, at least defies some of the conspiracy theories around hacking.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So if you commit a crime by yourself, you should get the full punishment for that offence; if you commit a crime at the same time as thousands of others commit the same crime, you should get a more lenient punishment???

    Now I see why <insert terrorist organisation du jour> are so popular... it's just logical.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Logic

      "Now I see why <insert terrorist organisation du jour> are so popular... it's just logical."

      Indeed. Now, where's my membership card for the People's liberation front for Judea?

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Logic

      That phone in your many people were raped, tortured, maimed and killed for the tantalum and niobium it contains? How many children were maimed, worked nearly to death or otherwise victimized to assemble it?

      Those banks that ruined the economy, how many people actually went to jail for their actions? How many members of any government were even mildly rebuked for violating various civil rights?

      The fourth amendment of the USA is now null and void within 100 miles of any border. Who went to jail for tearing up their constitution?

      People murdered in Iraq? Afghanistan? Haiti? Kosovo? Darfur? Burma? South Sudan? and on and on and on. Some of the murderers, rapists, torturers and maimers wore American flags. Some wore British. Who goes to jail for ordering a napalm strike on a civilian village, or illegally invading a country and causing a million deaths?

      Oppress an entire gender, or people for the colour of their skin. Abuse, demean and torture people for their sexual orientation or even just their physical appearance. Who goes to jail? All? Some? Most? Any at all?

      If you commit a crime by yourself you go to jail. If you commit that same crime in large enough numbers you get off scott free. This is the lesson of hundreds of thousands of years of human history. What's more, legal isn't moral and moral isn't legal. Neither bear any relation at all (except coincidentally, on occasion) to "ethical."

      Your votes don't count.

      Voting with your wallet doesn't count.

      Protesting in the streets amounts to nothing.

      So what does that leave? People need avenues for having their voices heard and for enacting change. Real ones that actually work.

      When 95% of the US population supports restrictions on automatic weapons and mandatory background checks for any firearm then it should fucking well happen. When it doesn't then the system is flat out broken.

      When a whistleblower releases information about government malfeasance then that individual should be protected, not persecuted. When the laws favour keeping the citizens cowed and in the dark the system is flat out broken.

      Paypal made a choice, people responded in a peaceful manner. Nobody was raped, tortured, mailed or killed. Nobody was abused or traumatised. One person alone is a criminal. Thousands or millions taking such peaceful, non-violent action is a legitimate attempt to find and exercise a means of protest that is actually effective.

      The people deserve a voice. Hundreds of years have gone into silencing the "official" means of making your desires known. I see no problems whatsoever with inventing new ones.

      Morally and ethically, at least, there's a fuck of lot less blood on the hands of someone using LOIC than on those of the people who sold you your cell phone.

      It's interesting, however, see where your priorities are. Subservient respect for authority and damned be the people. Nice.

  6. btrower

    Personally Torn

    I am personally torn over all of the stuff like this. As a Canadian, I am a compulsive rule follower. I find the notion of straying outside even illegitimate boundaries uncomfortable. As a developer, I take an attack on a system very seriously. It is not as dire now, but once upon a time even a fairly weak attack could take weeks to clear up and even destroy years of work.

    The ultimate place to solve these issues is at the ballot box. First, though, somebody reasonable has to be on the ballot. Thus far, you get a choice of Stalin or Hitler.

    We have, as a body politic, been badly used. Come the revolution as they say, we could create an amnesty for the good guys and round up the bad guys. Meantime, cyber warfare is a bad thing for everyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally Torn

      Perhaps in this case we should consider that the Government does nothing to protect the Proles from the Financial Wolves.

      They did not stop the abusive interest rates when the rates that governments charges banks is almost Zero. They did not stop the lying of the Mortgage companies when they packaged junk mortgages into what became junk bonds. The government can have no rights and the people do not owe any obedience to it's laws when the only thing we get from the government is more lies, deception, theivery and rape.

      The ballot box is and has been fixed by the government and it's minions. The people have no other recourse than to fight back. The LOIC is one (stupid) way to do that but there ARE many others.

      The BEST way is to find incontrivertable proof that your government boss is a criminal and send that info to the Newspapers and Bloggers.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Personally Torn

        "The ballot box is and has been fixed by the government and it's minions."

        Wrong; the ballot box was fixed by the Lib-Dems, who at the expense of the Tories vetoed the findings of the Boundaries Commission.

        Otherwise, if you want politics to work, get involved. Tell the 'gummint' what you want, band together with friends, join a political party, start a political party. Politics is not like a trip to the local take away, it takes effort, participation; you don't select number 23 from the 'menu' and expect it to be fulfilled, because in fact there are many thousands who want number 32.

        Very often people complain about a government's failure to adopt their pet policy and overlook the fact that it is in direct opposition to the policy espoused by the majority of the population. You have to change minds, and it won't happen overnight; it took a long time for women to get the vote, for women to have property rights, for the laws on rape and homosexuality to be clarified, and so on. It didn't happen overnight or because someone picked a number from the menu. It took effort and, in some cases, people died (like the suffragettes, for example); it is never easy, and you have to participate.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Personally Torn

          Bullshit. There are plenty of instances of things getting rammed through various governmental bodies against the explicit will of the overwhelming majority of the people. Everything from the US refusing to do something about guns to the Canadian government privatizing our natural resources so we can sell our water.

          The will of the people means nothing. 30% of the popular vote is all it takes to get a majority in my country, thanks to massive gerrymandering. The US has been begging for a viable third choice for ages. Poll after poll finds some of the most hotly pushed bills in most nations seeing massive pushback from the people.

          Your vote means fucking nothing. You mean fucking nothing. The only way to change that is to tear the system down and rebuild it from scratch. What's in place - all over the place - exists only to protect those already in power. That you believe otherwise only shows how shockingly effective the propaganda machine in your particular neck of the woods happens to be.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason for the clemency plea.

    The reason for the clemency plea is pretty obvious really.

    The benefit to Ebay of the defendants getting a tougher sentence is almost negligible compared to the risk to Ebay of such a possibility causing Anonymous/whoever to seek electronic retribution.

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