A 27-year-old Donna, TX, man who prosecutors say is an Anonymous hacker and is facing charges of breaking into a website, is now facing an additional 18 counts of cyberstalking.
Fidel Salinas, 27, ended up arrested in September 2013 for attempting to hack into the Hidalgo County, TX, website. The suspect said he was only trying to find vulnerabilities in the website and report them to administrators, but admitted using the online chat rooms frequented by Anonymous hackers.
He was charged in October 2013 for the cyber attack on Hidalgo County’s servers. Earlier this month, he had an additional 14 counts added that relate to computer hacking.
Authorities said he also targeted the servers of the La Joya Independent School District and The Monitor newspaper.
Previously, his lawyer said the prosecution had no case against her client, pointing to the fact the case had dragged on for two years.
However, according to the FBI, a federal grand jury has returned a second superseding indictment against Salinas. He faces new computer hacking charges and 18 counts of cyberstalking. In total, he is facing 44 charges.
The new hacking and cyberstalking charges relate to a woman who police said Salinas attempted to harass and intimidate in late December 2011. Court documents show he attempted to hack into her website, and tried to open user accounts without her consent. He’s also said to have emailed her repeatedly and made submissions via a contact form hosted on her website.
“The indictment lists his alleged attempts to stalk her and hack into her website. According to the indictment, he repeatedly did so late at night and early in the morning, with his stalking attempts or messages sometimes occurring less than one minute apart from each other,” the FBI said.
“He allegedly did so as part of a conspiracy or agreement with at least one other person, according to the charges,” the FBI said.
As far as the older charges go, the FBI said Salinas attempted to hack into the server of Hidalgo County because he believed he could gain access to voter registration information, SSNs, and details, including payroll data, on county employees.
Police said he conspired with other Anonymous hackers to breach websites.
The suspect’s lawyer said he has nothing to do with Anonymous, highlighting the fact anyone can access the chat rooms used by the hacktivists.
Authorities said, however, he not only accessed online chat rooms used by Anonymous for the AntiSec operation, but he also posted a “profanity-laced rant” on Facebook, which he ended with “We do not forgive, we do not forget, divide by zero we fall, expect us.” The message ended up posted shortly after he attempted to hack into the website of the Hidalgo County.
Salinas faces 10 years in prison for each of the charges brought against him.