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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index
    Release No. 09-061

    May 11, 2009

    NEW JERSEY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO LAUNCHING ATTACK THAT SHUT DOWN CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY WEBSITES

    NEWARK, New Jersey – A New Jersey man pleaded guilty today to his role in a cyber attack on Church of Scientology websites in January 2008 that rendered the websites unavailable.

    Dmitriy Guzner, 19, of Verona, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to computer hacking charges originally filed in Los Angeles for his role in the distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack against the Scientology websites. A DDOS attack occurs where a large amount of malicious Internet traffic is directed at a website or a set of websites. The target websites are unable to handle the high volume of Internet traffic and therefore become unavailable to legitimate users.

    According to the criminal information filed last year in United States District Court in Los Angeles, Guzner participated in the attack because he considered himself a member of an underground group called “Anonymous,” a group that has led protests against the Church of Scientology at various locations across the country.

    Guzner is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr. on August 24. As a result of today’s guilty plea, Guzner faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

    This case was investigated by the Los Angeles Field Office Electronic Crimes Task Force, which includes the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles Police Department. The New York Field Office Electronic Crimes Task Force, and the Newark Field Office and the New Haven Resident Office of United States Secret Service assisted in the investigation.

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    Release No. 09-061
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index