DOS 'Hacker' That Targeted Sony Online Entertainment Gets 27 Months in Jail

By Rich Stanton on at

Austin Thompson of Utah is not the messiah: he's a very naughty boy. This chap was today sentenced to 27 months in prison, and ordered to pay £75,600 in restitution to Daybreak Games (formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment), for carrying out a series of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks over the years 2013-2014.

DoS attacks happen when a nasty piece of work like this floods a target with traffic, which can either slow everything on that network to a crawl or cause an outright crash. In this case, Thompson succeeded in taking Daybreak's network offline. Daybreak specialises in online games (Everquest 2, Planetside 2, DC Universe Online) so the impact on its business is obvious.

Thompson targeted many other companies, including EA, Warner Bros., and Riot Games. This criminal mastermind followed-up his attacks by using the twitter account @derptrolling to boast about his success.

As the Californian Department of Justice noted in the press release announcing Thompson's plea deal:

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.

The FBI agents assigned to this dude must have been rolling in the aisles. Thompson, currently free on bond, is to surrender to authorities on August 23 and begin his sentence. Coincidentally he's 23 years old. Which brings home the stupidity of such actions. It's one thing to have fun online; quite another to make yourself a US felon before life has really begun.