Connecticut Man Facing 15 Years In Prison Over Gene Simmons Web Site Attack

A Connecticut man is facing up to 15 years in prison for allegedly participating in an online assault last year against the web site of rock star Gene Simmons.

Kevin George Poe, 24, has been charged with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, both felonies, in connection with an October 2010 denial of service attack against the Kiss frontman.

According to federal prosecutors, Poe--using the screen name “spydr101”--and others knocked the site genesimmons.com offline during “Operation Payback,” which was hatched by the shadowy online collective “Anonymous.” 

Simmons was apparently targeted because he spoke out against online piracy, and called on entertainment figures to “sue everybody, take their houses, their cars. The music industry was asleep at the wheel and didn't have the balls to sue every freckle-faced kid who downloaded tracks.”

As part of an FBI probe of the Simmons attack, agents earlier this year raided the Washington state home of a 15-year-old boy suspected of involvement in the denial of service campaign. A search warrant affidavit noted that the online attacks cost Simmons “approximately $20,000 to $25,000 in downtime and costs associated with changing computer servers and website hosts.”

Following an appearance today in U.S. District Court, Poe was released on $10,000 bond. Poe is pictured in the above United States Marshals Service mug shot.