Teen gets prison term for attack on Scientology Web site

Dmitriy Guzner also ordered to pay US$37,500 to church DDOS attack in early 2008

A 19-year old New Jersey man this week was sentenced this week to a year and a day in federal prison for hacking into the Church of Scientology 's Web site in Jan. 2008.

Dmitriy Guzner, of Verona, had pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorised impairment of a protected computer in May at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Guzner was also ordered to pay US$37,500 in restitution to the church and remain on probation for two years following his release from prison. He faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000

Guzner took part in a series of distributed denial of service attacks that knocked the Church of Scientology's Web site off for several days. The DDOS attacks began on Jan. 19 and proceeded to knock the Scientology.org Web site offline by hitting it with several bursts of up to 220Mb per second in unwanted Internet traffic.

The attacks were attributed to a loose-knit undeground hacking group called Anonymous that some have likened to a cyber-vigilante organisation. The group has posted criticism of Scientology on its Web site.

Prosecutors said Guzner denied being part of Anonymous group, but said he participated in the attacks because he believed it would further the cause of the "anti-Scientology" organisation.

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles last month indicted a second man, Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, on charges connected with the Church of Scientology attack.

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Jaikumar Vijayan

Computerworld (US)

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