Anonymous-linked hacker rescued at sea and then arrested

A Disney cruise ship picked him up off the coast of Cuba and delivered him to the FBI in Miami.

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PYMCA via Getty Images
PYMCA via Getty Images

A purported member of online activist group Anonymous was arrested by the FBI in Miami after a Disney cruise ship rescued him and his wife from a sailboat near Cuba. As NBC reports, the FBI had been investigating Martin Gottesfeld since October 2014 for his possible involvement with Anonymous' cyberattacks against a Boston hospital.

While the online collective was never explicitly linked to the distributed denial of service (DDoS) barrage against the care facility, in 2014 The Boston Globe wrote that security specialists noted the attacks "bore the hallmarks" of an Anonymous operation.

Worried coworkers and relatives contacted the FBI after Gottesfeld and his wife vanished recently, which lead the Bureau to begin searching. The pair's vessel, stocked with suitcases and a trio of laptops, "ran into trouble" spurring Gottesfeld to make a distress call that the Disney ship responded to; a Bahamian informant told the FBI of the couple's location.

While Anonymous itself had posted a video regarding "OpJustina" in March 2014, the FBI claims Gottesfeld posted his own, pleading for Anonymous to take action against the hospital where a teenage girl suffering from mitochondrial disease was being held. The girl's parents, who eventually emerged victorious, and the state of Massachusetts were involved in a controversial custody battle for the girl regarding treatment and possible abuse.

NBC reports that the hospital's network was down for at least a week and that the attack cost $300,000 in damages. Boston Children's Hospital has since released a statement admitting that Anonymous was the culprit of the attack, thanking its employees for helping the FBI and praising the agency for Gottesfeld's arrest.

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