In December 2010, Anonymous hacktivists launched distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks against PayPal after the payment processor decided to freeze WikiLeaks’ accounts. In a lawsuit against four of the alleged attackers, PayPal claims that the incident cost them £3.5 Million ($5.5 million / 4.3 million EUR).
According to the BBC, three of the defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to impair the operation of computers, but the fourth – 22-year-old Christopher Weatherhead – denied the charges brought against him.
The prosecution alleges that Weatherhead not only participated in the attacks, but he also encouraged others to do so on an IRC channel.
PayPal representatives claim that the cyberattacks caused serious damages to its reputation and loss of trade. 100 workers reportedly spent three weeks to address the incident.
The company was also forced to acquire new hardware and software components to prevent future attacks.