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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Kirk Nahra Highlights Unusual Capture of Alleged Hacker

Healthcare Info Security
February 18, 2016

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted in a article about an alleged hacker, who launched a distributed denial of service attack on a children’s hospital, and has been charged for one count of conspiracy for a role in orchestrating “a disruptive computer attack on a local Boston hospital's network,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice statement. In a unique twist to the story, the hacktivist, Martin Gottesfeld, was arrested in Miami after supposedly fleeing Massachusetts and being found in a small boat off the cost of Cuba.

The article states that this arrest is noteworthy for a few reasons, but especially for the circumstances of the capture. “Whether a hacker gets caught depends on a variety of factors, including their initial location and their overall sophistication,” said Mr. Nahra. “This guy apparently got ‘caught,’ in terms of being identified as a suspect, then really got caught trying to [allegedly] escape,” he said.

Had Gottesfeld successfully fled the U.S. and escaped to another country, such as Cuba, circumstances would have been more complicated, Mr. Nahra added. ”Once he gets away, particularly to a foreign country, it becomes like any other crime, where the ability to prosecute depends on factors not having too much to do with the original crime,” he said.

“This is an ‘unusual’ case only because of the storybook circumstances of the capture,” Mr. Nahra said. Other than that, the case is also “maybe different at some level because it was targeted for a specific reason, rather than primarily to get information,” he concluded.

To read the complete article, please click here.