In 2011, The Smoking Gun published excerpts of a sealed FBI affidavit concerning Anonymous' DDoS attack on the Koch Industries websites. In the affidavit, the FBI took aim at 12 people it alleged took part in the attack.
The Los Angeles Times now reports that one man, Eric J. Rosol, has been charged with conspiracy and an attack on a "protected" computer at Koch Industries, which caused damage.
Rosol is the first and only defendant charged in the attack, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office told the Los Angeles Times.
The Koch site shutdown came during the height of pro-union protests in Wisconsin's state capital that winter, when the Koch brothers came under criticism for backing the state's union cutbacks. Under the hashtag #OpWisconsin, Anonymous members issued a statement accusing the Kochs of "political manipulation" and said, "We are actively seeking vulnerabilities."
Here is the full text of the indictment. Page 3 sums up Rosol's sins this way: "'Kochind.com' website crashed and was unavailable for legitimate traffic." Page 4 goes on to allege that Rosol "executed the LOIC program on his computer and transmitted from his computer information and various codes and commands, to a 'protected' computer at Koch Industries, the transmission of which damaged the Koch Industries computer by impairing its integrity and availability of data, programs, system and information."
I realize that it's all the rage right now for the government to try and lock up every member of Anonymous no matter who they are or what they actually did, but this indictment reeks of overreach. Reeks.
First of all, the attack on those servers was a "distributed denial of service attack". That means that more than one person participated, yet the indictment singles out one person, and according to the US Attorney's office, no others are targeted for similar indictment. Second, as the LA Times article points out, a DDoS attack is more like a sit-in than a break-in.
The first reports of an attack on Koch-related websites seemed to sound like Anonymous was targeting Americans for Prosperity. But in affidavit excerpts published by The Smoking Gun, it appears there were calls to target quiltednorthern.com and kochind.com, and it is these calls upon which the indictment is based.