American teenager pleads guilty to Scientology web attack
A 19-year-old American man has admitted knocking the Church of Scientology's websites offline in a series of electronic attacks in 2008.
Dmitri Guzner of Verona, New Jersey pleaded guilty to charges of cybercrime against the religious organisation and related websites, which began in January 2008. The "Denial-of-Service" attacks involved using several computers to flood the websites with up to 220 Megabytes of malicious traffic every second, resulting in the websites being unavailable to legitimate visitors.
Guzner, who entered his plea at a New Jersey court on Monday 11th May, is due to be sentenced on 24th August. Some sources have suggested he may face up to 10 years in prison if handed the maximum sentence. Guzner was a member of the underground hacking group "Anonymous", whose mostly teenage members began attacking the Scientology movement last year. In response to the initial attack, the Church of Scientology released a new information website, the "Scientology Video Channel," which went online on 13th March to coincide with their annual celebration of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's birthday.