Anonymous hacks US Sentencing Commission site to avenge Aaron Swartz' suicide (VIDEO)


Anonymous is a loosely organized international network of online activists suspected of the coordinated computer hacking of institutions, multinationals and government organizations around the globe.



Anonymous hacked the US Sentencing Commission's website Friday and again early Saturday, in apparent retaliation for the suicide of Internet rights activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz. 

The ussc.gov site was down as of 9 a.m. EST, but the homepage had been replaced with a message saying "a line had been crossed" with Swartz' death, the Associated Press reported

26-year-old Swartz was facing federal charges for computer fraud for a reported plan to make millions of academic articles from JSTOR available for free, and was facing 35 years in jail and hefty fines.

His family has said that his suicide was the "product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."

More from GlobalPost: Aaron Swartz's family: Decisions by MIT, Massachusetts Attorney contributed to his death

Anonymous said in their message, called "Operation Last Resort," that he "was killed" because he "faced an impossible choice," CNN reported

The Commission, an independent branch of the judiciary system in the US, sets sentencing guidelines for Federal courts, according to ZDNet

The hackers claim to have accessed secret information from the government's computer systems which they are calling "warheads."

They've named the files after Supreme Court justices, and have threatened to make the encryption codes available to publicize the information if their demands for judicial reform go unmet, ZDNet reported. 

The message on the Sentencing website was accompanied by this video: