FBI Grabs Laptop Linked to Gene Simmons Website Attack
The FBI raided a suburban Washington home and seized a computer allegedly used to deploy targeted online attacks against Kiss bassist and outspoken anti-piracy advocate Gene Simmons.
Feds step in
According to an affidavit obtained by The Register, authorities entered the Gig Harbor, Wash., home of Darrin Lantz and his wife, Rhoda, on April 27.
In the sweep, authorities confiscated a laptop they believe was responsible for a series of denial-of-service attacks that, beginning Oct. 14, took down Genesimmons.com, simmonsrecords.com and kissonline.com.
In the search warrant request, FBI agent Scott Love, with the Los Angeles Cyber Crimes Squad, said that the computer in the Lantz's home was responsible for launching more than 48,000 denial-of-service attacks in a 47-minute period on Oct. 19.
Gene Simmons vs. Anonymous
Gene Simmons' public battle with Anonymous began on Oct. 4, when Simmons, speaking at the MIPCOM media event in Cannes, France, chastised the recording industry for not going after people who download music for free.
Simmons urged musicians to take legal action against "every fresh-faced, freckle-faced college kid who downloaded material," The Register reported.
Ten days later, on Oct. 14, Anonymous gathered its online troops and struck back, launching a series of denial-of-service attacks that cost Simmons between $20,000 and $25,000 in costs associated with changing Web servers and hosts.
Mom is not a fan
Rhoda Lantz denies her son was one of those kids Simmons lashed out against, and told KOMO News that he played no part in the orchestrated cybercrime that took down the glam rocker's websites.
Lantz said that after her son was questioned, the FBI "ruled him out as one of the masterminds." She thinks her son's computer was hijacked and used without his knowledge.
"It's all because my son went to a message board and some little worm was put into his computer," Lantz said.
No arrests were made during the April 27 raid. Lantz told KOMO News that the raid was uncalled for, given the nature of the crime that agents traced to a computer in her home.
"It's over Gene Simmons, I mean he's an old rocker has-been. Come on," she said.