A 23-YEAR-OLD HACKER from Utah has been sentenced to more than two years' porridge for launching DDoS attacks against a number of popular gaming services in 2013 and 2014.
Austin Thompson, better known as 'DerpTrolling', targeted the likes of Valve's Steam, Microsoft's Xbox Live, Electronic Arts' Origin service and the Sony PlayStation Online during December 2013 and January 2014.
At the time, Thompson - who announced his attacks using the @DerpTrolling Twitter account (below) - said he carried out the attacks "to spoil everyone's holiday," "to make people spend time with their families," and "for the lulz."
He was arrested in the summer of 2018, four years after his most prolific takedowns, and later in November, he pleaded guilty to the attacks.
Charged with causing Damage to a Protected Computing, Thompson was sentenced on Wednesday and is scheduled to start his 27-month stint in prison on 27 August. He has also been ordered to pay $95,000 in restitution to Daybreak Games, formerly Sony Online Entertainment.
"Denial-of-service attacks cost businesses and individuals millions of dollars annually," said US Attorney Robert Brewer. "We are committed to prosecuting hackers who intentionally disrupt internet access."
Thompson is believed to have been the 'brains' behind the DerpTrolling hacking group, active since 2011, writing the software that is used to launch the DDoS attacks. But he doesn't appear to have done a very good job of covering his tracks; his name leaked in 2014, after which it appears that he was quickly apprehended by law enforcement.
Gaming networks were subjected to a number of DDoS attacks at the time, not all of them due to Thompson and the DerpTrolling hacking group. µ
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