A 21-year-old North Fort Myers man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a cyber attack after authorities say he accessed an FBI-linked cyber security website, uploaded files, and then posted messages about it on Twitter encouraging others to exploit the website.
The arrest was made in addition to the arrests of 14 people who authorities say mounted a cyber attack on the website of PayPal in retaliation for suspending the accounts of WikiLeaks.
However, Scott Matthew Arciszewski’s arrest was not related to the attack on the PayPal payment service.
FBI agents executed more than 35 search warrants around the country in an ongoing investigation into coordinated cyberattacks against major companies and organizations.
Arciszewski was arrested on charges of intentional damage to a protected computer. Arciszewski made his initial appearance Tuesday in federal court in Orlando, Fla.
According to the complaint, on June 21, 2011, Arciszewski allegedly accessed without authorization the Tampa Bay InfraGard website and uploaded three files, then tweeted about the intrusion and directed visitors to a separate website containing links with instructions on how to exploit the Tampa InfraGard website.
InfraGard is a public-private partnership for critical infrastructure protection sponsored by the FBI, with chapters in all 50 states.
On his Facebook page, Arciszewski identifies himself as a graduate of North Fort Myers High School and Edison State College who is interested in web design. He also commented on his previous sales associate jobs at Sears and Dollar General — “I’m a glorified janitor who can run a cash register.”
Arciszewski currently lives in Orlando.
The cyberattacks on PayPal’s website by the group Anonymous followed the release by WikiLeaks in November of thousands of classified State Department cables.
Anonymous is a loosely organized group of hackers sympathetic to WikiLeaks. It has claimed responsibility for attacks against corporate and government websites worldwide. The group also claims credit for disrupting the websites of Visa and MasterCard in December when the credit card companies stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
The 14 allegedly involved in the PayPal attack were charged in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., and were arrested in the District of Columbia and nine states, including Florida.
A federal indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., says that Anonymous referred to the cyberattacks on PayPal as “Operation Avenge Assange.”