Anonymous hackers plead guilty in PayPal DDoS attack

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A group of hackers linked with the notorious Anonymous hacking collective have pleaded guilty in the 2010 PayPal Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

Out of the thirteen hackers, ten pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of damaging a protected computer, while the remaining pleaded guilty to one count each related to the attack. The ten will be allowed to change their felony charges to misdemeanor next year if they comply with the terms of their agreement till their sentencing.

According to the statement released by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, District Judge D. Lowell Jensen will announce the sentences starting November.

The group was responsible attacking PayPal’s servers through a DDoS attack after eBay’s unit suspended account of WikiLeaks.

EBay chairman Pierre Omidyar has asked the government to show leniency while issuing sentences to all those who have plead guilty in the case. The Department of Justice might be looking for a serious jail time; however, Omidyar has appealed to the feds to go easy on the bunch.

Through an editorial on the Huffington Post, Omidyar said that he understood the reasons behind the protests and he “felt that they were simply participating in an online demonstration of their frustration.”

“That is their right, and I support freedom of expression, even when it’s my own company that is the target,” he said.

Omidyar acknowledged that DDoS are serious enough attacks, but there is a disparity in prosecuting and crime for this particular act. Omidyar said that instead of jail time backed by felony charges, the defendants should be asked to pay fines under misdemeanor charges.