Chop. Disinformation. Monitoring. CYBER is Motherboard’s podcast and reports on the dark side of the internet.
The fugitive hacker Christopher Doyon or Commander X was captured in Mexico and extradited to the United States, where he is faced with a decade-long hacking charge. Doyon was a member of the Anonymous hacktivist collective.
According to an indictment, Doyon was part of a series of coordinated cyberattacks following a protest in Santa Cruz, California in 2010. Protesters occupied the entrance steps of the Santa Cruz courthouse for about two months from July 4 to October 2, 2010. to protest the county’s anti-camping law, which directly affects people who are homeless in the city.
Doyon was later reported to have shut down the Santa Cruz County’s website in a DDoS or distributed denial-of-service attack in a coordinated effort with the People’s Liberation Front and Anonymous. According to the indictment, they flooded the network with external communication requests so that “the target could not respond to legitimate traffic or was so slow that the target was effectively unavailable”.
“In retaliation for enforcing Santa Cruz City [the anti-camping law], the PLF coordinated and carried out a DDoS attack on Santa Cruz County’s computer servers, ”the indictment stated. “The PLF called these coordinated attacks on the Santa Cruz district ‘Operation Peace Camp 2010’.”
He is also charged with conspiracy to deliberately damage a protected computer, willfully damage a protected computer, and to assist. In the documents, Joshua John Covelli or “Absolem” or “Toxic” was named as a co-conspirator.
In addition to hacking charges, Doyon is also charged with failing to appear in court. His lawyer reported at the time that he had fled to Canada. According to a book he published about hacking on the run, he kept hacking for years.
Doyon was on the run in Mexico for nearly a decade after working with the PLF and was later a senior member of the Anonymous hacktivist group during its most active years.
Doyon has spoken at length about his time as a refugee and the charges he is facing.
“No servers were breached, no data was stolen. It’s a small, crowdsourced act of civil disobedience, “he said in 2017.” It’s unjust to take so many years away from me in protest … from my point of view, I’m in political exile. But according to the US Department of Justice, I am a refugee. “
A crowdfunding campaign launched earlier this month by friends of Doyon calls him a “political refugee”.
“We are a group of Mexican citizens and friends of Commander X who support him in his exile,” reads the crowdfunding campaign. “We know these are difficult times for all of us, but he is a political refugee and needs us all now. We would like to give back a little of what he gave to all of us. We have provided him and his two beautiful dogs with accommodation. A nice, safe place with fields and mountains. Now we have to take care of the medicine and that’s where you come in. “