SCIENCE

Alleged Anonymous Hacker Charged by British Police

Hacker group Anonymous's latest target was the San Francisco BART website.

Hacker group Anonymous's latest target was the San Francisco BART website.  (AP Photo/myBART.org)

British police say they have charged a 22-year-old man over attacks carried out by the computer hacking group known as Anonymous.

Scotland Yard released few details Thursday about the charge against Peter David Gibson, a student from Hartlepool in northern England.

Gibson was arrested on April 5 as part of the force's investigation into denial-of-service attacks carried out by Anonymous against various companies.

Denial-of-service attacks work by choking websites with traffic the same way that a telephone line might be jammed with thousands of crank calls.

Anonymous likens such attacks to an online form of civil disobedience, but penalties can be severe. The maximum sentence for a conviction on such a charge is 10 years in prison.

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