"Anonymous" Pleads Guilty in PayPal Case


As per the U.S. Department of Justice, 13 members of the famous hacker group Anonymous have pleaded guilty to charges related to their involvement in a 2010 cyber attack on eBay Inc’s (EBAY) PayPal unit.

Anonymous is an online collective of like-minded individuals whose main aim was to conduct hacking attacks, often with some social or economic goals.

Anonymous claimed that the cyber-attack was initiated by them to avenge the suspension of the WikiLeaks account by PayPal. In 2010, PayPal had accused WikiLeaks of violating their terms of service and had suspended its accounts so that it could no longer receive donations through PayPal. Wikileaks had claimed that this activity was intended to destroy it economically.

The incident happened in the form of a Distributed Denial of Service (:DDOS) attack. The cyber-attack was aided by software tools specially designed with the intention of damaging a computer network’s functional ability by flooding it with useless commands and information, which in turn, denied service to genuine users.

As of now, the 13 defendants have been released on bond and their hearing is scheduled to take place in early Jan 2014. The defendants comprise 11 men and 2 women. One of the defendants has also been accused of conducting a separate cyber attack on the website of Santa Cruz County.

eBay is one of the world's largest online marketplaces. eBay’s PayPal unit is a service that facilitates the electronic transfer of money between parties. Goods and services are sold on the platform by a large number of individuals and small businesses all over the world. Other than the U.S., it provides country-specific sites in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Japan, Korea and Australia.

eBay has taken all the necessary measures to boost growth, beginning with the fixed price format, to wooing big sellers and customers, improving technology and navigation of its properties, investing in better fulfillment services and focusing on mobile customers to boost profitability. Its drive to provide complete online solutions for traditional retailers should further add to its growth going forward.

eBay reported third-quarter revenues of $3.9 billion, up 14.3% from the year-ago quarter. Its non-GAAP earnings per share of 54 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents per share.
Currently, eBay has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the sector include Geeknet Inc. (GKNT), Stamps.com Inc. (STMP) and Netflix Inc. (NFLX), all with a Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy).

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