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May 9, 2013

Hacker group Anonymous targets Mass. city's computers

METHUEN, Mass. — The internationally-known hacker activist group Anonymous recently targeted the city's computer system in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a Methuen High School student.

Mayor Stephen Zanni told Methuen council members the weekend attack was in response for the arrest of an 18-year-old student, Cameron Dambrosio, for threatening on Facebook to outdo the Boston Marathon bombings.

Anonymous is a global hacking collective that has taken credit for past cyber-attacks on government agencies, private companies and others, including the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice.

Zanni told councilors Monday night that Anonymous got “very upset” about the arrest. He offered no other details about how or why the group targeted city computers, other than to say: “That was dealt with over the weekend. Thank God we’re OK.”

Dambrosio has been charged with the felony offense of communicating a terrorist threat. He is in Middleton (Mass.) jail awaiting a hearing.

He  was arrested May 1 after a violent Facebook post he wrote was brought to the attention of school officials.

Dambrosio admitted to writing the post after his arrest, police said. His charge carries a penalty of 20 years in jail. Police searched his home and found some gaming systems and computer equipment, but no weapons or explosive.

Details for this story were provided by The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

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