Members of hacker group Anonymous plead guilty in PayPal cyber attack


Thirteen members of hacker group Anonymous have pleaded guilty to charges related to their involvement in a 2010 cyber attack of PayPal, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

One of the defendants also pleaded guilty to the charges arising from a separate cyber attack on the website of Santa Cruz County.

The defendants -- five of whom are from California -- pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose on Thursday, admitting to carrying out a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, cyber attack against PayPal three years ago.


Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were facilitated by software tools designed to damage a computer network’s ability to function by flooding it with useless commands and information, which in turn denied service to legitimate users.

U.S. Atty. Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California announced that the following defendants pleaded guilty:

Christopher Wayne Cooper, born Oct. 21, 1987, a.k.a. “Anthrophobic,” from Elberta, Ala.

Joshua John Covelli, born Jan. 10, 1985, a.k.a. “Absolem,” and “Toxic,” from Fairborn, Ohio

Keith Wilson Downey, born Nov. 7, 1984, from Jacksonville, Fla.

Mercedes Renee Haefer, born June 21, 1991, a.k.a. “No” and “MMMM,” from Las Vegas

Donald Husband, born Aug. 14, 1981, a.k.a. “Ananon,” from Fairfield, Calif.

Vincent Charles Kershaw, born Feb. 23, 1984, a.k.a. “Trivette,” “Triv” and “Reaper,” from Fort Collins, Colo.

Ethan Miles, born Sept. 1, 1977, from Flagstaff, Ariz.

James C. Murphy, born Nov. 15, 1974, from Baldwin Park, Calif.

Drew Alan Phillips, born April 15, 1985, a.k.a. “Drew010,” from Santa Rosa, Calif.

Jeffrey Puglisi, born Feb. 19, 1983, a.k.a. “Jeffer,” “Jefferp” and “Ji,” from Clinton Township, Mich.

Daniel Sullivan, born June 29, 1989, from Camarillo, Calif.

Tracy Ann Valenzuela, born Feb. 11, 1969, from Napa, Calif.

Christopher Quang Vo, born May 16, 1989, from Attleboro, Mass.

The defendants have been released on bond.

The sentencing hearings for 12 of the defendants are scheduled for Dec. 4, 2014, in San Jose. Valenzuela’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2014.


Anonymous says it hacked LAPD website; police deny it

FBI arrests 14 alleged members of hacker group Anonymous

Journalist charged with helping Anonymous hack L.A. Times, TV station