Wisconsin man indicted over Anonymous attack on Kochs

During the 2011 Wisconsin protests, the hacker collective carried out a DDoS attack against two Koch websites

Published March 28, 2013 1:32PM (EDT)


A Wisconsin man has been arrested in relation to a cyberattack claimed by Anonymous against the Koch Industries website during protests over labor rights in the state's capital in 2011. As Matt Pearce reported for the Los Angeles Times, "Officials said Eric J. Rosol, 37, of Black Creek, Wis., participated in an Anonymous-organized shutdown of Koch websites www.kochind.com and www.quiltednorthern.com on Feb. 27 and 28 in 2011."

The Anonymous action, carried out in support of public sector unions fighting to save collective bargaining rights against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting efforts, was not a hack. Rather, the hacker collective orchestrated a denial-of-service attack, or a DDOS,  encouraging users to repeatedly access the website until it's too overwhelmed to function. The Koch sites were successfully but only temporarily brought down. Rosol is the first and only defendant charged in the attack. Via Pearce:

Rosol is charged with one count of conspiracy to damage a protected computer and one count of damaging a protected computer. Each charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine. Rosol did not respond to a phone message left Wednesday.

An archived version of his blog showed that he posted a link to a Greenpeace report on Koch Industries the day of the website attack; the post has since been removed.

Rosol posted a link to a story about his indictment on Facebook on Wednesday.


By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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