A Torrance, California man yesterday pleaded guilty in federal court to defacing the websites of a New York City government official and a U.S. military academy with the messages "Hacked by AlfabetoVirtual," "#FREEPALESTINE" and "#FREEGAZA."

Appearing in the District Court of Southern New York, Billy Ribeiro Anderson, 41, copped to two felony counts of computer fraud for causing damage to a protected computer. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

According to a Department of Justice press release, Anderson (aka Anderson Albuquerque and AlfabetoVirtual) infected his victims' web servers with malware in order to gain unlawful access, and vandalized over 11,000 U.S. military, government and business websites between 2015 and March 13, 2018. These included the sites for the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York and the Office of the NYC Comptroller.

A DOJ press release explains that Anderson defaced the Combating Terrorism Center's site using an "unauthorized administrative account that exploited a known cross-site script vulnerability, thereby enabling [him] to bypass access controls and target an internal... website address." 

"This case demonstrates that those who seek to commit cyber intrusions of government websites will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in the release.