Threat Management

St. Louis man pleads guilty cyberattack and weapons charge

St. Louis-area resident and former federal Veteran's Affairs employee Justin Payne pleaded guilty last week to organizing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack to take down the St. Louis County Police Association (SLCPA) website and a firearms charge that could land him in jail for more than 10 years, according to the U.S. attorney's office, Eastern District of Missouri.

The attorney's office said that on Dec. 2, 2014, Payne, acting under the name Rebel But Gangster Black Rebels (RBG Black Rebels), initiated the DDoS attack via Twitter by tweeting out messages containing a link that precipitated the DDoS incident at the SLCPA. The attack was successful and shut down the site.

The FBI's St. Louis office confirmed the attack on December 3 and opened an investigation. The FBI was led to Payne when it was discovered that the IP addresses used in the attack coincided with Payne's Twitter messages that came from his RBG Black Rebels Twitter account. The FBI then reviewed Payne's Twitter account and found messages associated with killing law enforcement officers.

After Payne's arrest on the DDoS charge, his car was searched and inside FBI agents discovered a Molotov Cocktail incendiary device leading to his being charged with possessing an unregistered firearm.

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