A few years ago, a hacker decided to be a jerk right around Christmas time. He launched DDoS attacks against several gaming companies. The purpose seemed to be to prevent children (and adults) who received new video games and/or consoles as gifts from being able to use them. This mean-spirited hacker has now been sentenced to 27 months in prison.
Information about this case was posted on the U.S. Department of Justice website (more specifically, on the part for the U.S. Attorneys Southern District of California). The information was posted on July 2, 2019.
Austin Thompson of Utah was sentenced in federal court today to 27 months in prison for carrying out a series of so-called denial-of-service computer hacking attacks against multiple victims between 2013 and 2014. The defendant was also ordered to pay $95,000 in restitution to one of the victims – Daybreak Games, formerly Sony Online Entertainment.
Austin Thompson is free on bond, and must surrender to authorities on August 23, 2019.
ZDNet reported that Austin Thompson is 23 years old, and used the name @DerpTrolling on Twitter. He used that Twitter account to announce attacks and also to take requests for services that other Twitter users wanted him to take down.
According to ZDNet, Austin Thompson launched DDoS attacks against Sony’s PlayStation Network, Valve’s Steam, Microsoft’s Xbox, EA, Riot Games, Nintendo, Quake Live, DOTA2, and League of Legends Servers, among others.
Hopefully, this will be a warning to other “trolls” who think it would be funny to launch DDoS attacks “for the lulz”. There is now legal precedent that launching a DDoS attack can result in a huge fine and prison time.