10 years for Boston Children’s Hospital DDoSer

Martin Gottesfeld, the hacker who attacked Children’s Hospital (BCH), fled the US when the Feds came knocking, was subsequently plucked off a sailboat bobbing off the coast of Cuba, and who says his only regret is that he “didn’t get to Justina sooner,” has been sentenced to 10 in jail.

Gottesfeld represented himself at a hearing in US District Court in Boston on Thursday. After the hearing, he told Judge Nathaniel Gorton that he believes that he made a big difference in the life of Justina Pelletier.

Starting 14 February 2013, then-15-year-old Justina was held in custody as a ward of the state in Massachusetts, at the order of a Boston that decided her illness was all in her head, aggravated by what some doctors perceived to be medical abuse doled out by her parents.

In April 2014, hacktivists who slapped themselves with the Anonymous brand of hacktivism decided to inject themselves into the situation by launching #opJustina.

That #op entailed flooding multiple hospitals’ computer networks with distributed denial of service (DDoS) e-garbage and the standard, monotone, Guy Fawkes mask-wearing call for others to join in.

Gottesfeld was charged in February 2016 and found guilty in August 2018.

He’s never publicly expressed remorse.

Gottesfeld’s first target was Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, the Framingham residential facility where Justina had been living under state custody. Then he went after BCH.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Gottesfeld customized malware that he installed on 40,000 network routers that he was then able to control from his home computer. The ensuing attack not only knocked BCH off the internet; it also spilled over and swamped several other hospitals in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area.

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