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26 November 2012

Anonymous Hackers 'Cost PayPal ?3.5m'

A student attacked the PayPal website as part of a concerted effort by the Anonymous «hacktivists» that cost the company £3.5m, a court has heard. Christopher Weatherhead, 22, was studying at Northampton University when he allegedly took part in the campaign. The court heard Anonymous targeted companies who opposed internet piracy but later attacked PayPal after it refused to process Wikileaks payments.

 Mr Weatherhead, from Northampton, denies a charge of conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to impair the operation of computers between 1 August 2010 and 22 January 2011. MasterCard, Visa, Ministry of Sound, the British Recorded Music Industry and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry were also hit.

The jury at Southwark Crown Court were told Ashley Rhodes, 27, from Camberwell, south London; Peter Gibson, 24, from Hartlepool; and an 18-year-old male who cannot be named for legal reasons have already pleaded guilty to the charge. Mr Patel said Gibson had initially suggested attacking musician Lily Allen’s website because of her overt anti-piracy stance but changed his mind, saying he did not wish to «attack artists». 

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