Teen gets prison term for attack on Scientology Web site

Dmitriy Guzner also ordered to pay $37,500 to church for DDOS attack in 2008

A 19-year-old New Jersey man this week was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for attacking the Church of Scientology's Web site in January 2008.

Dmitriy Guzner, of Verona, had pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized impairment of a protected computer in May at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Guzner was also ordered to pay $37,500 in restitution to the church and remain on probation for two years following his release from prison. He faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Guzner took part in a series of distributed denial of service attacks that knocked the Church of Scientology's Web site offline for several days. The DDOS attacks began Jan. 19 and proceeded to knock the Scientology.org Web site offline by hitting it with several bursts of up to 220Mbit/sec. in unwanted Internet traffic.

The attacks were attributed to a loose-knit underground hacking group called Anonymous that some have likened to a cyber-vigilante organization. The group has posted criticism of Scientology on its Web site.

Prosecutors said Guzner denied being part of Anonymous group, but said he participated in the attacks because he believed it would further the cause of the "anti-Scientology" organization.

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles last month indicted a second man, Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, on charges connected with the Church of Scientology attack.

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