Anonymous Helper Faces Lengthy Prison Term

Dennis Faas's picture

Black Creek, Wisconsin, resident Eric J. Rosol faces a lengthy prison term if convicted of helping 'hacktivist' group Anonymous disable Koch Industries websites two years ago.

Charles and David Koch run a massive oil and manufacturing conglomerate that generates roughly $115 billion in annual revenue. They are prominent libertarians who have reportedly funneled huge sums of cash towards various conservative groups.

Anonymous Targets Oil Billionaries

That made the Koch Brothers a target for 37-year-old Rosol and Anonymous, who allegedly worked together to close down Koch-owned websites and The sites were offline for two days in late February, 2011.

At the time, there were massive protests in Wisconsin's state capital over widespread cutbacks aimed at public workers.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest the policy, announced by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and allegedly supported by the Koch brothers.

Taking to Twitter, Anonymous members accused the Koch brothers of "political manipulation" and acknowledged that the hacking group was "actively seeking vulnerabilities." (Source:

Then, in a press release, Anonymous had this to say:

"David and Charles Koch -- the billionaire owners of Koch Industries -- have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw." (Source:

Defendant Could Face Decade Behind Bars

The indictment indicates that Anonymous used a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to flood the Koch websites with traffic, forcing them offline.

"If successful, the attack causes the target computer to be unable to respond or to respond so slowly as to be effectively unavailable to users," prosecutors noted in a recent statement.

Rosol allegedly played a key role in carrying out the attack. He is charged with one count of conspiracy to damage a protected computer and one count of damaging a protected computer. The U.S. attorney's office announced the charges earlier this week from Wichita, Kansas, where Koch Industries is based.

If convicted, Rosol could receive a 10-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.

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