A Massachusetts man accused of hacking into a hospital computer system in 2014 was arrested in Miami after being rescued by a Disney cruise ship, authorities said.
Martin Gottesfeld, 31, of Somerville, has been charged with conspiracy for allegedly coordinating a cyberattack on Boston Children's Hospital as part of the hacker group Anonymous, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday.
Gottesfeld was arrested Wednesday morning in Miami. He and his wife were picked up by a Disney cruise ship near Cuba on Tuesday when the couple's sailboat became disabled, according to the affidavit.
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The pair, traveling with three laptops and luggage, had been missing for at least a week, the affidavit said. The couple had apparently vanished with no explanation, prompting Gottesfeld's employer and concerned relatives to call the police, according to the Department of Justice.
The FBI began investigating Gottesfeld in 2014 over his alleged involvement in an Anonymous attack on Boston Children's. The attack took down the hospital's network, including its website, for at least a week and cost the hospital more than $300,000, the affidavit said.
According to the Department of Justice, Gottesfeld posted a YouTube video in March 2014 on behalf of Anonymous, threatening the hospital in response to its treatment of a teenage girl "who was the subject of a high-profile custody battle between her parents and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
The video warned that Anonymous would "punish all those held accountable and will not relent until [Patient A] is free," according to the affidavit.
Authorities said Gottesfeld was aware he was the subject of a federal investigation. Information on an attorney for Gottesfeld was not immediately available.
The custody case behind the cyberattack has not been named.
"Boston Children’s Hospital is grateful to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for investigating the cyber-attack launched on the hospital in April 2014 and for apprehending the hacker who led the attack and holding him accountable," the hospital said in a statement Wednesday, adding that it has added safeguards in the wake of the attack.
Ari Mason contributed to this report.