A Missouri man will plead guilty for his role in connection with a 2011 series of cyberattacks on websites associated with Koch Industries that occurred during the recall protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
From the Smoking Gun:
In a plea agreement struck with Department of Justice lawyers, Christopher Sudlik acknowledged his role in early-2011 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on several Koch-related web sites. As part of the deal, a copy of which was filed this week in U.S. District Court, prosecutors have agreed to recommend that Sudlik be sentenced to two years probation on the misdemeanor charge.
Sudlik is actually the second individual charged in connection with the same attacks. This past March, Eric Rosol of Black Creek, Wisconsin was charged with one count of conspiracy to damage a protected computer and one count of damaging a protected computer, for his role in the cyberattack on Koch Industries sites.
At the height of the Wisconsin Recall protests against Governor Scott Walker in early 2011, a faction of the Anonymous hacker collective launched a series of denial of service attacks on the websites of several products manufactured by Koch Industries, including that of Quilted Northern and Angel Soft toilet paper products.
Some supporters of Anonymous made a showing at the recall protests organized by labor unions and progressive activist groups.
But some Anons took exception at the time to the political nature of the operations being organized in their name. As I wrote in March 2013 at Breitbart:
As the Wisconsin recall protests heated up, calls for support and participation in the #OpWisconsin/#OpKockBlock operation were posted on progressive political websites like DailyKos (in a previous post as “Magnanimous”). However, as more participants with Anonymous began realizing that the operation was a political one, largely orchestrated by labor unions and political activists, elements of Anonymous became angry. A rift developed, and one of the more prolific protest participants even had his/her Twitter account hacked and defaced by fellow Anons.
The result of that Anon on Anon attack can be seen at Ars Technica, in Chaos as Anonymous attacks toilet paper, Sweden, itself.
FBI agents were able to connect Sudlik to the 2011 attack on Koch Industries after an investigation aided by the company, according to the Smoking Gun.
Aided by Koch Industries, FBI agents connected Sudlik–who uses the online handle “The_Hatchet”–to the Angel Soft attack. When confronted by investigators, Sudlik admitted that he “intentionally participated” in the DDoS operation, according to the plea agreement. Additionally, Koch officials provided the FBI with Internet Relay Chat logs for the #opwisconsin channel that included “chat conversations involving “The_Hatchet” and the organization of the DDoS attack.”
An October 4th arraignment and plea hearing is scheduled for Sudlik in federal court in Wisconsin, where federal prosecutors are recommending a no-jail sentence and a ban on associating with Anonymous members or groups involved in “denial of service or other cyber-attacks.”
Rosol, the other individual earlier charged in the cyberattack, is expected to change his plea, after his attorney said he’d reached a resolution with the government.