Anonymous hackers attacked US agency site
Anonymous Hackers Activists embedded a video statement on the homepage of an agency of the US government, United States Sentencing Commission.
The statement referred to the death of Mr Aaron Swartz, who was an internet activist who apparently killed himself on 11th January 2012.
“Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed,” the statement said.
“Two weeks ago today, Aaron Swartz was killed. Killed because he faced an impossible choice. Killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not
Mr Swartz, who was 26, was facing hacking charges and is believed to have taken his own life.
His federal trial was due to be held next month. If found guilty, he could have faced up to 35 years in prison.
Following his death, Mr Swartz’s family released a statement blaming “intimidation” and “prosecutorial overreach” from the criminal justice system.
The attack on the website was scheduled to begin at midnight eastern standard time, according to documents that appear to have been posted online by
Later on Saturday the website was not functioning.
The USSC is responsible for issuing sentencing guidelines for US federal courts.
“The federal sentencing guidelines… enable prosecutors to cheat citizens of their constitutionally-guaranteed right to a fair trial, by a jury of their
peers [and] are a clear violation of the 8th amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishments,” the video statement said.
The hackers, who had labelled the attack “Operation Last Resort”, said the site was chosen for symbolic reasons.
The statement also suggested the hackers had sensitive information relating to a number of US judges that may be made public.
There have been numerous attacks by hackers operating under the Anonymous banner in recent months.