The home of a 15-year-old habitué of 4chan was searched last month by FBI agents probing last October’s coordinated denial of service attacks on several web sites affiliated with the rock star Gene Simmons.
The April 27 raid at the Gig Harbor, Washington home of teenager Gunnar Lantz was prompted by a review of computer logs and IP records showing that the online assault against the performer was, in part, launched from the boy’s residence, according to a search warrant affidavit
filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.
Agents seized the high school student’s laptop during the early-morning raid and questioned him extensively about Simmons, 4chan, and the denial of service attack, according to the boy’s mother. Rhoda Lantz, 44, told TSG that agents–who arrived at her door with guns drawn at 6:40 AM–initially said they were involved in a cyber crime investigation.
But it wasn’t until an agent asked her son if he had a problem with the Kiss star that the boy grasped the nature of the federal inquiry. “Oh, this is about the Gene Simmons attack,” he said, according to his mother.
The targeting of three Simmons web sites was reportedly orchestrated by the shadowy online group Anonymous as part of its “Operation Payback” campaign. The singer apparently angered members of the outfit when he delivered an October 5 speech urging entertainment figures to take legal action against online piracy. “Be litigious,” he advised. “Sue everybody, take their houses, their cars. The music industry was asleep at the wheel and didn’t have the balls to sue every freckle-faced kid who downloaded tracks.”
Simmons’s sites were knocked offline in retaliation. After they returned, he posted a message warning the attackers that they would be hunted down by law enforcement officials.