Teen Charged in Scientology Web Attack

Prosecutors say that a New Jersey teenager will plead guilty to attacks which brought down the website for the Church of Scientology earlier this year.

Dmitriy Guzner from Verona, N.J. has admitted that he is a member of Anonymous, the internet group behind global protests against the Church of Scientology. According to the Justice Department, Guzner has agreed to plead guilty to launching a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in an attempt to take the Church’s website offline and prevent genuine users from accessing the site.

According to Wired, the teen is charged with a single count of unauthorized impairment of a protected computer for the attack which took place in January of this year and faces a sentence of between 12 and 18 months in prison based on stipulations in his plea agreement. The plea bargain will also see him pay $37,500 in restitution.

Anonymous made headlines earlier this month when David Kernell pleaded not guilty to hacking into Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s personal email account. The attack which saw screenshots of Palin’s emails reposted on the internet was thought to have come from someone affiliated with the Anonymous group.

Guzner was charged Friday but has agreed to plead guilty sometime in the next few weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

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