In brief: A man who carried out a DDoS attack against two healthcare organizations on behalf of hacktivist group Anonymous has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
34-year-old Martin Gottesfeld was found guilty by a federal jury last August on two counts, including conspiracy to damage protected computers related to 2014 attack on Boston Children’s Hospital and a treatment home.
Gottesfeld has been in custody since February 2016 when he was arrested in Miami along with his wife. The pair had attempted to escape the US and a federal investigation using a small powerboat, but the couple had to be rescued by a Disney cruise chip after their vessel was found disabled off the coast of Cuba.
Gottesfeld says he is a member of Anonymous and claims he committed no crimes as he was trying to save the life of Justina Pelletier, who had been taken into state custody in Massachusetts after a dispute over her diagnosis arose between her parents and Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). She had previously been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, but BCH diagnosed her problems as psychiatric.
In March 2014, Gottesfeld used a botnet of over 40,000 network routers to carry out a DDoS attack on a residential treatment facility called Wayside Youth & Family Support Network where Pelletier was a resident following her discharge from hospital. She was eventually released to her parents on a judge’s order.
In April that same year, Gottesfeld launched another DDoS attack on behalf of Anonymous that disrupted Boston Children’s Hospital’s network for two weeks, causing $600,000 in damages.
Representing himself at yesterday’s hearing, Gottesfeld said he had no regrets and planned to appeal. "My only regret is that I didn't get to Justina sooner. I wish I had done more," he said at the U.S. District court in Boston.
The Boston Herald writes that Assistant U.S. Attorney David D’Addio said Gottesfeld put lives in danger, continues to peddle “lies and conspiracy theories about his prosecution,” and is a serious risk of offending again.
“He did not save a girl’s life,” D’Addio said. “He is not a hero. He committed crimes and today is about holding him accountable for those crimes.”
In addition to his 121 months in prison, Gottesfeld must also pay nearly $443,000 in restitution.