A 31-year-old man suspected of carrying out a cyberattack on a Boston hospital two years ago was arrested by authorities on Wednesday after he and his wife were rescued from a stranded boat off the coast of Cuba.
Federal authorities have been in search of Martin Gottesfeld after he was charged of hacking the Boston Children's Hospital's computer system in April 2014. He was identified through a video clip posted online where he said that he carried out the cyberattack on behalf of the international hacktivist group Anonymous.
The hacking was intended to impair the ability of the hospital's staff to treat a teenage patient, who was the focus of a well-publicized custody battle between the state and the patient's parents.
In his video, Gottesfeld claimed that Anonymous would "punish" all the people accountable for the custody battle and that the group will not stop until the patient is "free."
He allegedly posted a link to a PasteBin.com page as well, which was meant to provide other hackers vital information on how to access the hospital's system.
According to the Justice Department, the 2014 cyberattack disrupted Boston Children's computer network and shut down its website. It also severely affected the hospital's medical operations and research work. Boston Children's had to spend more than $300,000 in order to restore the damage done by the hacking.
Law enforcement officials received a report from Gottesfeld's relatives and employer last week stating that he had been missing for the past few weeks.
He and his wife were later discovered by the crew of a Disney cruise ship after they received a distress call from the couple.
Gottesfeld was arrested immediately upon reaching Miami and is now facing one count of conspiracy, which can result in a five-year sentence and a fine of $250,000. It is still unclear whether Gottesfeld had retained a lawyer.
On Wednesday, officials from Boston Children's Hospital thanked members of law enforcement agencies for investigating the cyberattack on their computer network and apprehending the hacker. They said that the security systems they have placed on their network prevented any illegal access to confidential information.