Christopher Weatherhead has today been convicted on one count of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977, at Southwark Crown Court. This follows the earlier guilty pleas of three co-conspirators.
Russell Tyner, Crown Advocate for the CPS Organised Crime Division, said:
“Christopher Weatherhead is a cyber criminal who waged a sophisticated and orchestrated campaign of online attacks on the computer systems of several major companies.
“A self-styled ‘hacktivist’, Weatherhead and his fellow conspirators targeted companies in the music industry involved in combating internet piracy and companies that had stopped processing online donations to WikiLeaks. Their campaign of attacks cost these companies over £3.5 million in additional staffing, software and loss of sales.
“These were lawful companies with ordinary customers and hard working employees. This was not a victimless crime.”
Jake Birchall, Ashley Rhodes and Peter Gibson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977, at Southwark Crown Court. Birchall pleaded on 26 January 2012, Gibson on 6 March 2012 and Rhodes on 11 July 2012.
The companies they targeted were: PayPal, Master Card, Visa, the British Recorded Music Industry, Ministry of Sound and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.