Author and activist Christopher Doyon has been arrested in Mexico in connection with a cyber-attack on the Santa Cruz County government’s website carried out more than a decade ago.
Doyon, who calls himself Commander X online, wrote and published the book Behind the Mask about his time as a member of hacking group Anonymous. On social media, the 56-year-old is also known as the Homeless Hacker.
A former resident of Mountain View, California, Doyon was reportedly working on behalf of the self-styled cyber-warrior organization People’s Liberation Front back in 2010 when the Massachusetts-based group organized a protest in Santa Cruz.
During the event, more than 50 people camped outside the city’s district courthouse to protest the city council’s decision to tackle the issue of homelessness in Santa Cruz by banning camping in the city.
The protest, which began in July, was broken up by police in October. Doyon was arrested for sleeping in public at the protest but failed to show up for a court date. A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest.
It is alleged that in December of 2010, Doyon launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against Santa Cruz County that knocked out the county’s website.
Doyon was arrested in 2011 and charged with conspiracy to cause intentional damage to a protected computer, causing intentional damage to a protected computer, and aiding and abetting. He was released on bail but didn’t show up for his federal court hearing scheduled for February 2012.
The alleged Santa Cruz County attacker then reportedly fled to Canada, leaving his defense attorney to cover the cost of his $35k bail bond. Doyon’s time living on the streets of Toronto was captured by documentary co-producer Ian Thornton.
Doyon was arrested in Mexico on June 11 by Mexican immigration authorities. On June 12 he was deported to the United States and arrested by FBI agents.
Doyon appeared before magistrate judge Donna Ryu in US District Court for the Northern District of California to face indictment for his failure to appear in federal court in 2012. He was jailed and is scheduled to appear today for arraignment and identification of counsel.