66 year old British Rock Guitarist jailed for taking part in 2010 Anonymous DDoS attack

66 year old British Rock Guitarist jailed for taking part in 2010 Anonymous DDoS campaign called Operation Payback

Geoffrey ‘Jake’ Commander, a 66-years-old British rock guitarist and part of the Electric Light Band Orchestra (ELO), has been given a a jail sentence for joining the popular online hacktivists collective ‘Anonymous’ and taking part in the famous Operation Payback campaign in 2010 which brought down many financial websites.

Washington Times quotes that, “Geoffrey “Jake” Commander, a rock guitarist who has played with the Electric Light Orchestra, George Harrison and Elton John, among others, walked unnoticed through the halls of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria early Friday afternoon”

The sentence was given by the Alexandria District Court on Friday following the  admission of guilty plea by ‘Jake.’  The ELO guitarist admitted to his involvement in the Anonymous operation at the hearing before the sentence was pronounced.  He also promised the Judge never to return to the United States after his release.  The authorities said that he could serve only ten days in prison, ‘Jake’ was earlier facing a likely prison sentence of ten years jail time in a federal prison.

Operation Payback

The Anonymous campaign called Operation Payback was a coordinated attack against the opponents of Internet piracy. Anonymous started the Operation Payback started as retaliation to DDoS attacks on torrent sites by anti piracy lobby.   The Anonymous then allegedly took down many anti-piracy websites all over the world through coordinated DDoS attacks.  After Wikileaks published the leaks of Diplomatic cables in December 2010,  some banks withdrew banking facilities given to Wikileaks.  Anonymous then turned the Operation Payback against such banks which had withdrawn the banking facilities.

Geoffrey’s Role in Operation Payback.

Reports indicate that Geoffery took part in the IRC chat administered by members of Anonymous collective and joined the 1000 members of Anonymous to launch a DDoS attack against MasterCard.  He was alleged part of the Operation Payback for over 3 hours in which he he contributed to the amplification of the attack by using the LOIC (low-orbit Ion cannon) tool on his PC.

MasterCard had reported later that it recorded a $1 million loss due to this DDoS attack.  Geoffery was arrested in 2013 after he returned to the United States with his family, 3 years after the attack.

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