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Man pleads guilty in L.A. to cyber attack on Church of Scientology

A Nebraska man agreed to plead guilty today in federal court in Los Angeles to participating in a 2008 cyber attack that shut down websites for the Church of Scientology, prosecutors said.

Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, 20, was part of a group that called itself "Anonymous" and planned the January attack as part of a campaign against the church nationwide, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Mettenbrink, who is expected to enter his plea next week, was investigated by a federal task force based in Los Angeles, prosecutors said.

Mettenbrink admitted to downloading software from an Anonymous message board that was used to bombard Scientology websites and prevent them from being accessed by viewers, according to the U.S. attorney.

Prosecutors said a New Jersey man has been sentenced for participating in the attack.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Comments () | Archives (14)

He meets Berine Madoff in Club-Fed:

Bernie: "I stole billions for a cult called the US banking system, what you in for?"

Mettenbrink: "Busted for cyber-attacking Scientology. Can we bust out of here?"

Bernie: "It's a proprietary strategy. I can't go into it in great detail."

Congratulations to authorities for doing their job - now if only they could also follow up on all the human rights abuses that Scientology continues to perpetrate on its followers

Wall Street shenanigans, terrorism, a massive increase in identity theft and violent crime. Good job, Feds. /sarcasm

Look up the chargers. In simple speak they basically refreshed their browsers a boat load of time eating up bandwidth.

I think this send a chilling message.

they should have presented him with a congressional medal of honor.

gives this guy time served for community service. L Ron Hubbard was a child rapeist that left the u.S.A. for having sex with boys and girls under the age of 16 in many cases. He fled, the USA for below the belt activity with minors. Hacker should learn to proxy with instant data dump. stay undetected.

So where are the priorities of this federal task force?

They have spent possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars busting a kid for pinging a Church of Scientology website. Yet, countless COS crimes get reported to the authorities, crimes ranging from acts of wanton violence against COS workers, to child slavery, to tax evasion. The Feds run scared from the COS and are quick to do COS's bidding by attacking their critics.

Of course, the IRS made a pact with the Devil-- the "secret" agreement that was published in the Wall Street Journal that gave the COS and its members tax breaks vastly beyond legitimate religions like Christianity. So the Feds have big time skeletons in their closet. They should be ashamed at themselves. We need for more people to learn the truth before they will ever look in the mirror. The Feds have fed America to the COS wolves and they are digging in their heals, as this shows. Insane sign of the corporate times.

So, now the government fights on behalf of specific religions? Thanks to the Supreme Court, we can all wonder if CoS money went to the candidacy of whoever controls this task force in Washington. FUN!!!

For my entire life I have wondered why women write to men serving time in prison, now I might understand it just a little bit better as the government has imprisoned someone whom I hold as a true hero. I hope to hear that these "hackers for freedom and truth" receive more mail than anyone else behind bars. Let's be sure that there are great jobs waiting for these people when they get out, they have proven themselves to be very savvy in discerning truth from propaganda as far as cults/religions so maybe they should get a really high level job in government to be able to flush out the fools that are getting jobs in this failing and flailing administration.
Give the guy a medal and full access to Scientology vaults of information, better yet, have the govmt employ every hacker to be able to finally get the truth about the cult. Leaders aren't leading very well right now, you'd think they'd be much more careful about how they incite the public wrath....

Amazing! When I ran the Los Angeles Valley College BBS (Support.com) in the 1990's, I, and the BBS, were under constant cyber, and physical, attack from Scientology; and was the subject of a harassment lawsuit from them also. I always reported the attacks to the FBI. They simply were not interested in enforcing the law. Now they act like Tom Cruise's, and his cult's, personal army, over a decade later.

And they wonder why they are not respected on the web, and elsewhere.

So.... Another one gets fair gamed by the cult of scientology. if only the feds would finish up on their investigation with this cult and raid them again... instead of getting sidetracked with one person out of millions apart of anonymous.

Just because you think ill of the Church of Scientology doesn't mean what he did was right. If you are 20 years old then you obviously know what your actions are doing and you understand that there are repercussions to your actions. I can't say I am going to complain that a "jokester" from 4chan has to pay for their stupidity, maybe this will send a message to all the other script kiddies savaging websites which potentially host legitimate businesses and real money - it's time for this to grow up and now he's getting a reality check.

Marcabian, there are no human rights abuses. The abuses were being done by people like Marty Rathbun who left the church.

I hope more of these criminals are caught. Not just for abusing a church, but also for harassing individuals and other groups. The group "Anonymous" is composed of sociopaths with minds full of propaganda. Look at comments like Joemamabush. The person is clearly misinformed. Loose cannons.

Personaly types as Tom Klemesrud reports should have only included the facts not distortions. The FBI would have ignored those as well.


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