Man guilty of 2014 hacking of Boston Children's Hospital computer network

A Massachusetts man was convicted Wednesday of launching a cyberattack on the computer networks of Boston Children's Hospital and a mental health facility, Reuters reports.

A federal jury found 32-year-old Martin Gottesfeld guilty of one count of conspiracy to damage protected computers and one count of damaging protected computers. He carried the attack out on behalf of hacking activist group Anonymous as a protest of the hospitals' treatment of a teenager.

That teenager, Justina Pelletier of Connecticut, had been taken into state custody in Massachusetts after Boston Children's Hospital diagnosed her with psychiatric health problems, and the hospital said her parents were interfering with her treatment. The case captured the attention of religious and political groups, who argued the state was overstepping parental rights.

Mr. Gottesfeld disagreed with the hospital's diagnosis, and as part of his advocacy for her release, launched a distributed denial of service attack on Framingham, Mass.-based Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, the residential treatment facility where Ms. Pelletier stayed after her discharge from Boston Children's in March 2014.

In April 2014, Mr. Gottesfeld carried out another attack on Boston Children's computer network, knocking out its internet and affecting numerous hospitals in the area.

Federal investigators began looking into Mr. Gottesfeld and his role in the attacks, and he fled Massachusetts in early 2016. In February 2016, he was arrested when a Disney Cruise Line ship rescued him and his wife from a boat off the coast of Cuba.

Mr. Gottesfeld is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 14.

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