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Wiscon trucker agrees to plea deal in cyber attack

A Wisconsin trucker who joined an cyber attach on Koch Industries has admitted his role in the case and pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of accessing a protected computer in a deal with prosecutors for reduced charges. The defendant was allegedly part of the Internet group that call themselves Anonymous in an Internet crimethat attempted to take Koch Industries website offline. The case was resolve by reducing the original accusation to a misdemeanor charge.

Both parties in the case have agreed, however, that the total loss is less than $5,000. Koch Industries has indicated that when it learned of the attack, it hired a consulting group to protect its website and minimize any potential plea bargains. Defense attorneys are expected to argue at an upcoming sentencing hearing to determine restitution that the trucker is not liable for the money Koch Industries spent on the consultant. In the plea agreement, the trucker said he only participated for a minute in the cyber attack that sent repeated requests to the Koch website in an attempt to shut it down.

The trucker had already forfeited the computer used in the attack and has agreed that he will not contact Koch Industries and their associated websites. He also faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

By entering into the plea agreement, the trucker, who is the only conspirator to have cooperated in the case, is expected to receive a sentence that is at the lower end of sentencing guidelines. Attorneys who are knowledgeable about federal computer hacking laws may be able to help defendants in similar circumstances by working with federal officials to minimize the effects of such incidents.

Source: JS Online, "Wisconsin trucker pleads guilty in Koch cyberattack", September 11, 2013

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