A man from Massachusetts was found guilty of a cyber attack against a healthcare institution and sentenced for 10 years in prison. His name is Martin Gottesfeld, found guilty by the U.S. District Court under Judge Nathaniel Gorton. “It was your arrogance and misplaced pride that has been on display in this case from the very beginning that led you to believe you know more than the doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital,” explained Judge Gorton. He initially left the U.S. of Cuba, but his rented boat failed to reach the shores of Cuba, he was subsequently rescued by a Disney Cruise Line ship, hence forced to face his court hearings.
The victim of the cyber attack was Boston Children’s Hospital, which placed young patients at risks. The convict is also being penalized with a $443,000 fine on top of jail time, he is already behind bars since his arrest in Feb 2016. Gottesfeld was a Somerville, Massachusetts, computer engineer who apparently launched a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attack) against Wayside Youth & Family Support Network.
The downtime of the hospital’s computers gravely affected its operations and hence subjected all their patients at risks. The cost of the damage is estimated to be in the tune of $600,000, half due to repairs needed to restore the normal operations of hospital computers and the other half is lost, as the hospital usually receives donations from generous entities, which they were not able to receive during the DDoS period.
Mr. Gottesfeld also allegedly worked in a representation of Anonymous, the infamous hacking group that with members remaining anonymous, hence the name. He claimed that his action was to seek justice for Justina, who at the time of the DDoS attack he initiated was admitted in the Boston Children’s Hospital. The teenager’s parents refused to accept the diagnosis of the attending physician, downgrading the alleged mitochondrial-related sickness to just a psychiatric.
Dana, Gottesfeld’s wife disagreed with the sentence saying: “(It) incredibly harsh and way more than people usually get for CFAA violations. It’s also a really stark contrast that Marty got 10 years and Boston Children’s Hospital, who literally abused a child, are protected from any kind of accountability.”
Mrs. Gottesfeld expressed her desire to appeal the judgment of the case for her husband, and labeling the sentence as misplaced, supporting the defense’s 690-page affidavit against the judge, for allegedly harboring a conflict of interest.
While during the pre-trial, Gottesfeld launched a 100-day hunger strike while in detention in protest of the treatment of Pellertier. The prosecutor wanted at least a 12-year prison sentence against Gottesfeld, for being a ‘self-aggrandizing menace’, pretending to be a rights advocate for the teenager Pellertier through his cyber attacks.
“He did not save a girl’s life. He is not a hero. He committed crimes and today is about holding him accountable for those crimes,” emphasized Assistant U.S. Attorney David D’Addio. He also stressed that the pretensions of Gottesfeld is self-serving, and his claims of saving Pellertier is just “lies and conspiracy theories about his prosecution.”