The Southern District of Texas offered a misdemeanor plea deal to hacker Fidel Salinas, 28, just a few months after the hacker was charged with 44 felony counts of computer fraud and cyberstalking. Each count had a maximum 10-year prison sentence, totaling a potential 440 years in prison.
Instead, the suspected Anonymous-linked hacker plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of computer fraud and abuse - and must also pay $10,000. He faces up to one year in prison when sentenced on February 2, 2015, and his attorney will argue the monetary restitution is enough.
Salinas reportedly tried to access the Hidalgo County administrative website, using a script that racked up more than 14,000 access attempts. The brute force attack led county IT administrators to be locked out of the system themselves.