A teenage hacker has admitted his involvement in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against websites belonging to the highly controversial Scientology organisation.
18-year-old Dmitriy Guzner, of Verona, New Jersey, played a role in a crippling assault which flooded websites belonging to Scientology with internet traffic, making the sites effectively inaccessible to the outside world, in January 2008.
Guzner, who is expected to formally plead guilty in the next few weeks according to the Department of Justice, could face up to 10 years in prison.
Scientology, founded by pulp sci-fi paperback writer L Ron Hubbard in the 1950s, is no stranger to internet battles. These digital scuffles are many and varied and, in some cases, reflect badly both on Scientology and the Anti-Scientology movement who believe them to be a destructive cult. Often neither side comes out smelling of roses.
Even someone who is unaware of the arguments for and against Scientology should realise, however, that breaking the law is not the way to make things better. Even if a person believes a controversial group is harmful to society, it is utterly reprehensible to take illegal action (such as an internet attack) against them.