LOS ANGELES (AFP) — A teenager hacker has admitted carrying out a cyber attack that crashed Church of Scientology websites as part of a campaign by a mysterious underground group, justice officials said Friday.
Dmitriy Guzner, 18, of New Jersey will plead guilty to computer hacking for his role in launching a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack against Scientology websites in January this year, the Justice Department said.
DDOS attacks occur when websites are overwhelmed by a large volume of malicious Internet traffic, making the sites unavailable to legitimate users.
According to information filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Guzner described himself as a member of a shadowy Internet-based group known as "Anonymous" that has carried out a series of protests against Scientology.
A statement released by the Justice Department in Los Angeles said Guzner would formally plead guilty in "coming weeks" at a court in New Jersey. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
Founded in the United States in 1954 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the Church of Scientology, which has attracted Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise, was recognized as a religion there 20 years later.
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