AnonFail: DDoS Attacker of Scientology Sites Pleads Guilty

Just what I like to hear!  :)  This, from CNN:

image Los Angeles, California (CNN) — A Nebraska man is expected to plead guilty next week to launching a cyber attack that shut down the Church of Scientology’s Web sites, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, 20, of Grand Island, Nebraska, was accused of participating in an attack orchestrated by a group that called itself "Anonymous."

The group led protests against the church in various parts of the country before announcing in January 2008 that it would launch a cyber offensive, said Robert Lopez of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Mettenbrink admitted in court that he downloaded software from an "Anonymous" message board and used it to launch "denial of service" attacks on Scientology Web sites.

In such attacks, hackers flood a target site with so much traffic that it is unable to handle the volume and slows to a crawl or crashes altogether. As a result, the site is then unavailable to legitimate users.

The group targeted the church after it forced Web sites to yank a leaked video of actor and church member Tom Cruise fervently making the case for Scientology.

The video was intended for attendees at a church award ceremony in 2004 where Cruise was being honored.

"We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, we are the authorities on the mind, we are the authorities on improving conditions … we can rehabilitate criminals," Cruise says in the video.

In 2008, the video was leaked online and widely ridiculed.

The church responded by threatening to sue Web sites unless they removed the clip. "Anonymous" then launched its attack.

As part of its offensive, the group asked Internet users to not only download the "denial of service" software from its message board, but also to place prank phone calls, post proprietary church documents online, and send black pages to church fax machines to waste ink.

The group posted a YouTube video that said it aimed to "expel Scientology from the Internet."

"Expect us," the video ended. The attacks targeted local and global sites of the church.

Mettenbrink is expected to plead guilty in federal court next week to a misdemeanor charge of accessing a protected computer with authorization. He agreed to serve a year in prison, Lopez said.

Mettenbrink’s is the second successful prosecution connected to the "Anonymous" attacks. Last year, Dmitriy Guzner of Verona, New Jersey, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for attacks on Scientology sites.

Anonymous said to “Expect Us” – guess they should have heeded the same message. 

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I'm a Linux network engineer, a mountain biker, a daddy and a Scientologist. I run the ScientologyParent.com website, am married to a great wife, and have a pair of absurdly cute kids.

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5 comments on “AnonFail: DDoS Attacker of Scientology Sites Pleads Guilty
  1. Dustin says:

    Tad,

    Thanks for this blog. It is really refreshing to see a little bit of sanity on the internet.

    Quick question for you. I am relatively new to all this. I have all of the books and the Clearing Congress DVDs. I want to go through the Basics start to finish. Should I start now or wait until I have the companion lectures?

    Thanks!

    • Tad says:

      Dustin – thanks, and no problem. To answer your question, I’d just start studying now, but definitely get the lectures as soon as you can. If you’re new to the subject, start off by reading The Problems of Work, followed by Scientology: Fundamentals of Thought, Dianetics: Evolution of a Science and Self Analysis. Then, you start in with Dianetics and go straight on through the sequence of books. However, by the time you get through Dianetics, you’re going to want to have the lectures that go along with it – as it’s much, much better to study with the lectures that go along with each book.

      You saw the Basics DVD by Mr. David Miscavige that introduces these materials, right?

  2. turbotad says:

    Wow – as a trailing follow-up to the last post, the video where Mr. David Miscavige released the Basics is now available to watch on-line, if you didn’t catch it already:

    http://www.scientology.org/david-miscavige/scientology_basic_books_and_lectures.html

  3. lolwut says:

    I don’t have to read much to see that theres a dangerous degree of brainwashing going on here. Now what does that mean, sure sure, you’re probably a normal guy who just happens to be a scifag, but if you dig deep enough, its there. The way you write its clear that you’re ‘in’. Sure scifags go nuts when you talk to them like this, but that doesn’t matter, you’re a dying breed.

    • Tad says:

      No, people like me just sort of shrug and don’t bother with the effort of getting worked up over people like you. I really do think it’s unfortunate, though, that whilst you’re attempting to stand for freedom & reason, you’re in fact only standing for bigotry and hate. Personally, I respect the religious beliefs of others, no matter if I feel they’re workable or not. But if you want to make up your mind about Scientology, based on falsehoods that others spread around on the Internet, and then assume you’re “fighting the good fight” when in reality you’re fighting against good-natured, well meaning people – I really just feel sorry for you. Especially when there is no shortage of actual, real-life bad guys around who could really use fighting against.

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