A crown prosecutor told how a hacker from the group Anonymous caused online e-commerce payment centre PayPal “enormous economic harm” which cost it £3.5 million.
The hacker, a student from Northampton University who went under the cyber name of Nerdo, joined Anonymous and took part in cyber campaigns that attacked sites including Master Card, Visa, the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) and the Ministry of Sound.
PayPal had to buy additional defence software and hardware and post 104 employees from its parent company eBay for three weeks after the event to correct the problems.
The BPI paid out £3,996 for online security after it was hacked, and attacks on four websites run by the Ministry of Sound resulted in £9,000 being spent drafting in extra staff, buying software and subsequent loss of sales.
Another organisation, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, lost over £20,000 when its website was down for nine days.
Andrew Lancaster of Mitigate’s Cyber Security Solutions, said: “These organisations paid heavily through having to take action after the intrusions. Firms are warned to be vigilant and get the tightest of security in place up front.”