WASHINGTON -- A Wisconsin man who, for one minute, took part in an Anonymous-sponsored effort to overwhelm the website of Koch Industries has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay the company $183,000.
Eric J. Rosol, a 38-year-old truck driver from Black Creek, Wis., was sentenced on Monday in federal court in Wichita, Kan., where Koch Industries is headquartered. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of accessing a protected computer, admitting that he used a software called Low Orbit Ion Cannon Code to participate in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Kochind.com for approximately one minute back in 2011. As a result of the attack, the website was down for about 15 minutes.
Both the government and the defendant agreed that the direct loss associated with Rosol's participation in the attack was less than $5,000. But Koch Industries, according to a plea agreement, "had been informed of the planned Anonymous attack" and "hired a consulting group to protect the operation of its websites, and, if any such attack was successful, to minimize the effect of the attack." Lawyers for Koch Industries convinced U.S. District Judge Eric F. Melgren, a President George W. Bush appointee, that Rosol should have to pay for the entire consulting fee -- restitution in the amount of $183,000 -- despite of the fact that Koch Industries had hired the group before Rosol even took part in the attack, and though Rosol was not the only participant (he was the only one who was caught.)
The attack took place in 2011, when the Koch brothers were under fire for supporting union cutbacks in Wisconsin. Organizing under #OpWisconsin, members of Anonymous said they were seeking vulnerabilities on the website.
Separately, several defendants who allegedly took part in a similar Anonymous-affiliated DDoS against PayPal are trying to work out a deal with the feds and are due in court again on Thursday.