Teen Hacker Sentenced To 2 Years In Jail Over DDoS Attacks On Xbox Live, 'Minecraft,' And More
UK teenager Adam Mudd has been sentenced to jail for two years after devising a software used to penetrate and hack high-profile companies such as Sony and Microsoft.
Hacker Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For Creating, Selling DDoS Software
Mudd earned more than £386,000, or nearly $500,000, by selling the software to cybercriminals.
The Effects Of The Titanium Stresser Software
Mudd, now 20 years old, pleaded guilty to all three charges and was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court of England. The judge noted that the impact of Mudd's Titanium Stresser software was far-reaching, causing chaos in a span of countries "from Greenland to New Zealand, from Russia to Chile."
In addition to the aforementioned attacks, Mudd was also found guilty of facilitating 594 DDoS attacks against 181 IP addresses between late 2013 and early 2015.
The impact and effects of the attack reached a "global" scope, according to the prosecution, noting that there were attacks in almost every major city around the world, or wherever there was a computer.
Mudd's program had over 112,000 registered users who hacked around 666,000 IP addresses. One of the many targets was popular fantasy MMORPG RuneScape, which suffered 25,000 attacks launched by Mudd's software. The report adds that the company behind RuneScape shelled out £6 million attempting to prevent such DDoS attacks, which nears $8 million when converted.
Mudd's counsel had originally requested the judge to lessen the severity of the term, saying that in Mudd's defense, he was "sucked into" the online gaming sphere, and that he lost touch with reality after abandoning school due to bullying.
The judge balked at the notion of suspending the jail term, stating that the sentence must have a "real element of deterrent."
"I'm entirely satisfied that you knew full well and understood completely this was not a game for fun," the judge told Mudd, arguing that Mudd created a serious money-making business, and that the software he created did exactly that.
Mudd sold the software under a number of payment options, which included discounts for bulk purchases of up to $309.99 for 30,000 seconds, viable over five years. There was also a referral system set in place.
It Wasn't For Money, Apparently
According to the report, however, Mudd was more attuned to gaining a significant status in the online gaming community than profiting from the said software. Thus, the prosecution believes that the money-making component was more of a second-hand effect than the main objective.
Mudd has had instances of hacking in the past. He also admitted to performing security breaches against his college during his time as a computer science student. The attacks crashed West Herts College's network, resulting in "incalculable" damage to the college's productivity.
DDoS attacks, the type Mudd's software had performed on many targets, is a type of denial-of-service attack wherein multiple compromised systems are used to target a single system. A DDoS attack floods the victim with incoming traffic culled from different sources. The influx makes it difficult to prevent the attack by simply disabling a single IP address.