The FBI arrested a member of the hacktivist group Anonymous today, for allegedly launching a cyberattack on the website of heavy metal legend and KISS frontman Gene Simmons.
Simmons drew the ire of Anonymous members last October, when he took part in an anti-piracy conference and called for a crackdown on file and music sharing on the Internet. Members of the group allegedly shut down his web site, GeneSimmons.com, with a distributed denial of service attack.
Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) flood Internet sites and computer networks with requests for information and commands, making the networks and Web sites unavailable to computer users.
Anonymous member Kevin George Poe, allegedly one of the group who took part in the attack, was arrested today after being charged in an indictment with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
Poe, who lives in Connecticut, turned himself in to federal agents at the U.S. District Courthouse in Hartford for an initial appearance and was released on a personal recognizance bond.
Deirdre Murray, a lawyer with the federal defenders office who represented Poe, did not return a call for comment on the case today.
Poe is expected to appear at the federal Court in Los Angeles at a later date.
Anonymous has been prolific in retaliating against individuals that they don’t agree with. In February, the group hit a U.S. computer security firm named HB Gary and targeted the CEO for allegedly claiming that the firm had infiltrated Anonymous and would disclose details about the group’s membership to the FBI.
Members of the group hacked the HBGary website, posting a message on the firms website, allegedly downloaded thousands of emails and to top it off hijacked the CEO’s Twitter account where they posted obscene tweets along with his personal data including home address, social security number and telephone number.
Last month the group had pledged to name and expose members of the Zeta drug cartel in what they dubbed OpCartel.
Earlier this year, the FBI executed a series of search warrants around the country in relation to last year’s cyberattacks that targeted MasterCard, Visa and PayPal after the companies cut off financial donations to Wikileaks following the website’s release of U.S. diplomatic cables.
The search warrants were executed in conjunction with arrests in the United Kingdom of five people who were accused of playing a role in what was dubbed “Operation Payback.”