PayPal says cyber-attacks cost it £3.5m

Attacks cost £3.5million

Online payments provider PayPal says that the cyber-attacks by internet activist group Anonymous on its website last year cost the company £3.5 million ($5.4 million).

Prosecutors at Southwark Crown Court revealed the figure during the first day of the trial of one of the alleged attackers Christopher Weatherhead. The 22 year old Northampton University student is accused of leading a gang of internet hackers who targeted PayPal and other financial services firms including Visa and MasterCard, in a backlash against the blocking of payments to website WikiLeaks.

Weatherhead, whom prosecutors said was known online as ‘Nerdo’ is accused of being a leading figure in the attacks known as ‘Operation Payback’. The three other Anonymous hackers have admitted to their part in the cyber-attacks which saw the websites of a number of companies swamped with messages and requests, with the aim of making them go offline.

Speaking for the prosecution, Sandip Patel said: “He (Weatherhead) and others like him waged a sophisticated and orchestrated campaign of online attacks that paralysed a series of targeted computer systems belonging to companies, to which they took issue with for whatever reason, which caused unprecedented harm.”

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