Boston Children's Hospital hacker's flee to Cuba foiled by troubles with getaway boat.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

February 19, 2016

1 Min Read

An alleged member of Anonymous was arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy for his role in a hacktivist attack on Boston Children's Hospital. 

Somerville, Mass. resident Martin Gottesfeld, 31, was aware he was a target of a federal investigation since the FBI searched his home in October 2014. He and his wife left Massachusetts. While on a small boat near the coast of Cuba, they issued a distress signal and were rescued by a nearby Disney Cruise ship. Gottesfeld was arrested in Miami when the cruise ship returned to port Wednesday.

The cyber attack was in protest of how the hospital handled the case of Justina Pelletier, a patient who at the center of a high-profile, controversial custody battle between her parents and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Although her parents insisted Justina suffered from mitochondrial disorder when they brought her to the hospital for severe intestinal problems, the physicians believed her issues were mostly psychiatric and that the parents were pushing for unnecesary medical intervention and abusive to hospital staff. The hospital filed medical child abuse charges against her parents and a juvenile court judge gave permanent custody of Justina to the state. Her parents appealed, and won custody back 16 months later. 

According to the Department of Justice release, the attack on the hospital's network lasted at least seven days, took the hospital’s website out of service, and disrupted some of the hospital’s day-to-day operations, as well as the research being done at the hospital. It cost the hospital $300,000 in damages.

The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 and restitution.

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Dark Reading Staff

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