An alleged member of the famous amorphous Hacktivist group Anonymous is now facing a total of 44 charges after the filing of the latest superseding Indictment of cyber assaults charges against him with the collective to hack Computer systems of a County Government, a school district and a Newspaper organization in Texas, federal investigators announced on Tuesday.
27-year-old Fidel Salinas of Donna, Texas, charged with several counts of cyber stalking, attempted computer hacking and with intent to harass and intimidate a female victim, making it altogether 44 counts of cyber assaults that could lead him up to 440 years in Jail.
Salinas intentionally tried to hack into the computer system of Hidalgo County practically two years earlier, for which he was charged with one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after a grand jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas found him guilty, last October.
It looked like, Salinas would only face a single count of charge, but charges against him continue to be filed. Earlier this month on April 2, a superseding indictment introduced 15 additional counts against him, but this week the FBI announced even more charges filed against him.
Salinas is also accused of cyberstalking a female victim at least 18 times in December 2011. “According to the allegations, between Dec. 23, 2011 and Dec. 29, 2011, Salinas had the intent to harass and intimidate a female victim. Allegedly, he repeatedly e-mailed her, attempted to gain unauthorized access to her website, made submissions through a contact form on that site and tried to open user accounts without her consent,” the FBI said in Tuesday’s statement.
Between 2011 and 2012, Salinas allegedly hacked into the Hidalgo County website after making more than 14,000 hacking attempts as a result to access its administration management page, causing it more than $10,000 in damages. He is also charged with hacking attempts against La Joya Independent School District and The Monitor newspaper organization.
FBI announced another 18 counts of cyber-linked assaults in its latest superseding indictment, making it altogether 44 counts of cyber assaults against the accused.
The US attorney, Kenneth Magidson, who announced the latest indictment (as shown above) under which Salinas faces 44 charges of cyber-attacks, announced the counts in detail including:
Counts one and two: attempting to breach the county, school district and newspaper sites;
Count three: conspiracy with others to use a computer “to cause emotional distress” to the female victim, identified only as ‘Y.V.’;
Count four: an attempted hack of Y.V’s computer;
Counts five through 22: distress the victim multiple times over the internet on his own;
Counts 33 through 37: attempts to hack the woman’s computer;
Counts 38 through 43: attempts to hack the three other sites between November 2011 and January 2012;
Count 44: cause damage to the Hidalgo County sight.
Each of the charges against him carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. His attorney has denied that Salinas has any connection to Anonymous and argues the group is no more than a chat room in which anyone can enter and engage in online conversation.