Anonymous-linked hacker admits to DDoS of public services

A hacker with links to Anonymous has admitted conducting distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against social services, crime prevention bodies and businesses.

Ian Sullivan, a 51-year-old from Bootle in Merseyside, flooded more than 300 websites with bogus traffic in 2013, rendering them unusable for legitimate visitors, though the police said no data was stolen.

Steven Pye, senior operations manager at the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) cybercrime unit, said: "Many DDoS attacks are little more than a temporary inconvenience, but in this case Sullivan’s actions are likely to have deprived vulnerable people of access to important information, ranging from where to get support on family breakup, to reporting crime anonymously."

"This multi-agency operation illustrates the commitment of the NCA and its partners to pursuing people who think they can criminally disrupt important public services or legitimate businesses."

Sullivan was arrested on July 29, 2013 by the Police Central e-Crime Unit after the DDoS attacks were referenced by a Twitter account.

Investigators found software on his computer capable of taking websites offline, as well as documents linking him to other campaigns run by hacking collective Anonymous.

He will be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on May 1.

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