Hacker in DDoS Attacks Against SOE Sentenced to Over Two Years in Prison

Remember when hackers almost ruined the holidays back in 2013 and 2014 as Sony Online Entertainment (then known as Daybreak Games) went down? Well, a hacker behind those attacks will now be behind bars for 27 months. Austin Thompson has now been sentenced to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to the charges in November last year.

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Austin’s group, DerpTrolling, was behind the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on not only SOE, but also on others like Battle.net and even League of Legends, to name a few. As part of his sentence, he also has to pay As part of his sentence, he is to pay $95,000 in restitution, which isn’t that much considering how many people he affected. He will begin serving his sentence on 23 August 2019.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California explains that:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”#33fff6″ class=”” size=”22″]According to the plea agreement, between December 2013 and January 2014, Thompson’s attacks, which flooded his victims’ servers with enough internet traffic to take them offline, were directed mainly at online gaming companies and servers, including then San Diego-based Sony Online Entertainment. Thompson typically used the Twitter account @DerpTrolling to announce that an attack was imminent and then posted “scalps” (screenshots or other photos showing that victims’ servers had been taken down) after the attack. The attacks took down game servers and related computers around the world, often for hours at a time.[/perfectpullquote]

Sure, you can argue that not being able to log in to play online games for a bit, but the people doing things like this probably just do it to hurt others, or well, “troll” them. That’s why personally, I am happy to hear that he got some actual prison time, instead of just a fine and a slap on the wrist, as this will surely make other hacking groups think twice.

According to the official announcement, the maximum penalty for the charges is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, so it is not even as if they tried to make an example of Mr Thompson.

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What do you think about this outcome for the hacker who brought online services for the games we love playing to a standstill? Let us know in the comment section below.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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