By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
As part of an ongoing investigation into “coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations” by members of the hacktivist collective “Anonymous,” the FBI is investigating 12 individuals suspected of participating in cyber attacks against business websites operated by Koch Industries.
Koch Industries owners Charles and David Koch were being targeted by the group, an open letter from February stated, for their attempts “to usurp American Democracy.” The two were chief financiers of the tea party movement and supporters of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker.
According to a confidential FBI affidavit obtained by The Smoking Gun, the 12 suspects allegedly participated in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Koch Industries sites in February and March. The attacks attempt to disrupt sites availability by overwhelming them with meaningless web traffic, slowing the site down and sometimes knocking it offline entirely.
Federal agents launched an investigation into the DDoS attacks against Koch Industries sites after the company contacted the agency on February 27 to report that its Quilted Northern site was being attacked.
The FBI was able to identify 12 targets thanks to firewall logs provided by Koch.
They are being investigated for causing the transmission of “a program, information, code, or command” that intentionally causes damage to a “protected computer.”