Hacktivist Martin Gottesfeld 10 years in prison for hospital cyberattack

Pierluigi Paganini January 12, 2019

The American hacktivist Martin Gottesfeld (34) has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for carrying out DDoS attacks against two healthcare organizations in the US
in 2014.

The alleged Anonymous member, Martin Gottesfeld, was accused of launching DDoS attacks against the two US healthcare organizations
in 2014, the Boston Children’s Hospital and the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network.

The man was participating in a hacking campaign in support of Justina Pelletier, a teen who was the subject of a custody dispute between her parents and the state of Massachusetts.

The state of Massachusetts obtained the custody of the teen after a
diagnosis of the Boston Children’s Hospital. Justina Pelletier was transferred to a facility that provides family support services to children, the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network.

Gottesfeld published a video on YouTube calling Anonymous members for action and asking them support to launch a cyber attack against the Boston Children’s Hospital asking for the return of Justina Pelletier to her parents. The man used a botnet of over 40,000 network routers that were infected with a customized malware.

The attack disrupted the Boston Children’s Hospital and also other medical facilities in the Longwood Medical Area. According to the Boston hospital, the attack caused losses for over $300,000, it also paralyzed the website used to collect donations causing an additional $300,000 losses.

The DDoS attack was launched to authorities, the DDoS attack aimed at the hospital was powered by tens of thousands of bots. The attack caused disruptions not only to the Boston Children’s Hospital, but also several other medical facilities in the Longwood Medical Area.

Martin Gottesfeld
Source boston.com (Terri Barach photo via AP)

The Boston hospital claimed that the attack had cost it over $300,000 and led to the organization losing roughly $300,000 in donations due to the attack disabling its fundraising portal.

Gottesfeld was identified a few months after the attacks, police raided his home and seized his devices, but he was not arrested at the time.

In February 2016, the man along with his wife attempted to expatriate on a small boat, but a Disney Cruise Ship rescued them off the coast of Cuba, then the authorities arrested Gottesfeld.

On August 1, Gottesfeld was convicted by a federal jury of orchestrating disruptive computer attacks on Boston Children’s Hospital and Wayside Youth and Family Support Network.

The hacktivist has now been sentenced to 121 months in prison and the judge ordered to pay nearly $443,000 to compensate the damages.

Gottesfeld appeared at the hearing on Thursday at the U.S. District court in Boston, he said he planned to appeal but had no regrets.

“Gottesfeld, who beyond serving 121 months in prison must also pay nearly $443,000 in restitution, has been in custody since February 2016. He said he planned to appeal but had no regrets.” reported the Reuters.

“I wish I could have done more,” he said.

“It was your arrogance and misplaced pride that has been on display in this case from the very beginning that led you to believe you know more than the doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital,” Judge Gorton said.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – DDoS, Martin Gottesfeld)

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