California Man Convicted of Directing Cyber-Attack Against Oklahoma Business
Oklahoma City – DAVID CHESLEY GOODYEAR, 44, of El Segundo, California, was convicted today by a federal jury on one count of directing distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) cyber-attacks against two websites owned by Oklahoma telescope retailer Astronomics in August 2016, announced Robert J. Troester, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
In distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) cyber-attacks, the perpetrator floods the victim computer with useless information from botnets (large clusters of connected devices infected with malware and controlled remotely) and prevents legitimate users from accessing the victim computer.
In August 2017, a federal grand jury charged Goodyear by indictment with attacking the websites of Astronomics, a family-owned telescope retailer located in Norman, Oklahoma.
Today, after hearing two days of trial, a jury returned a guilty verdict against Goodyear. Evidence at trial showed that Astronomics operated the world’s largest free astronomy forum on the internet, called Cloudy Nights, and that Goodyear had been a registered user on the site under a variety of aliases. Each of Goodyear’s usernames and his primary IP address had been banned for violating the terms of service of Cloudy Nights, including sending threats to other users, administrators, and moderators.
Evidence at trial showed that Goodyear attempted to access Cloudy Nights as "JamesSober" on August 13, 2016, but his access to the online community was denied because his "JamesSober" account had been banned on August 9, 2016. Goodyear then posted messages on Cloudy Nights under a new alias, "HawaiiAPUser," including pornography and profanity directed at Astronomics and the volunteer administrators and moderators of Cloudy Nights. In the posts, he threatened that he would "talk with [his] contacts and just DOS this site as well as A55tronomics." Evidence further showed that DDoS attacks against Astronomics and Cloudy Nights commenced that night and continued intermittently until the end of August 2016, when Goodyear was interviewed by law enforcement and admitted he was responsible for the attacks.
The jury deliberated for about an hour and a half before returning the guilty verdict. At sentencing, Goodyear faces up to ten years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000.00 fine, and payment of restitution to the victim. His sentencing will be set by the court at a future date.
This conviction is the result of an investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with support from the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force in Los Angeles, which includes personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys McKenzie Anderson and William Farrior.