Participating in Anonymous DDoS Attack for One Minute = £112,000 Fine

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Eric Rosol is not a big-time hacker. However, the Wisconsin man did participate in the 2011 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that Anonymous unleashed on Koch Industries—for one whole minute. And for that one minute of his life, a judge just decided, Rosol must pay a $183,000 fine. That's about  £112,000. Ouch.

Oh, and two years probation.

But £111,537.76 (to be exact)—holy shit!—for running a piece of software on a computer for 60 whole seconds?! That amounts to £2,215 per second of very small-time hacking. (That is, if you could even call a DDoS attack a form of hacking.) By comparison, the attack supposedly cost Koch Industries less than £3,047 in damages, though the company says it spent the £111,537 to hire consultants to protect its websites. That's where the massive fine figure comes from.

This feels a little unfair. Nobody's trying to say that what Rosol did was right. He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor count of accessing a protected computer and probably expected a slap on the wrist because he accessed that computer for less than the span of a commercial break. But you don't need to look further than this to see why activists say that hackers laws are entirely too harsh. [Naked Security]

Image via Getty