BOSTON (Reuters) – A Massachusetts man was sentenced on Thursday to more than 10 years in prison for conducting a cyber attack on a hospital on behalf of the hacking activist group Anonymous to protest against the treatment of a teenager in a high-profile custody dispute.
FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Image/File Photo
Martin Gottesfeld, 34, was sentenced by U. S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston almost three years after he was rescued from a disabled boat off the coast of Cuba by a Disney Cruise Line ship after the flight, the United States, in the middle of a federal investigation.
A federal jury in August found him guilty of two counts, including conspiracy to damage protected computers with regard to cyber-attacks he carried out in 2014 at Boston Children’s Hospital and other facility.
“Make no mistake, your crime was despicable, hateful and disgusting,” Gorton said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David D ” Addio called Gottesfeld a “self-aggrandizing threat”, the cyber-attacks put the lives of children in danger and who could strike again released from prison.
“It is terrible to think what he will do with the next cause he adopts,” D ” Addio said.
Gottesfeld, who then serve 121 months in prison, must also pay nearly $443,000 in restitution, is in custody since February, 2016. He said that he was going to appeal, but had no regrets.
“I wish that I could have done more,” he said.
According to the prosecutors, in the autumn of 2013, Gottesfeld, a computer engineer living in Somerville, Massachusetts, learned about a child custody dispute involving a Connecticut teenager, Justina Pelletier.
Pelletier had been taken in the state of preservation in Massachusetts after an argument about her diagnosis arose between her parents and Boston Children’s Hospital, which determine her health problems of psychiatric nature, and believed her parents were interfering with her treatment.
Her case garnered headlines and attracted the attention of the religious and political groups who are seen to be an example of government interference with parental authority.
Gottesfeld, who disagreed with the hospital’s diagnosis, began to plead for her release, prosecutors said.
She said Gottesfeld in March 2014 launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack at a residential treatment facility called a Boot, Youth And Family Support Network, where Pelletier was a resident after her discharge from the hospital.
DDOS attacks shut down or slow websites by flooding them with data.
Gottesfeld later, in April 2014 launched a DDOS attack on behalf of Anonymous that disrupted the Boston Children’s Hospital’s network for two weeks, and interrupted internet services used for the treatment of patients, prosecutors said.
Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Lisa Shumaker