Sony Online Entertainment DDoS Attacker Sentenced to 2 Years Prison Time
Back in 2013, Daybreak Game Company (then known as Sony Online Entertainment) was the victim of a DDoS attack perpetrated by the hacking group known as DerpTrolling. DerpTrolling, operated by Austin Thompson of Utah, also attacked League of Legends, Dota 2, and Blizzard’s Battle.net service with similar attacks. Now, after pleading guilty back in November of 2018, Thomspon has been sentenced to 27 months in prison and has been ordered to pay $95,000 to Daybreak Game Company.
Thompson’s sentence will begin on August 23. His DDoS attacks on Daybreak Game Company actually occurred before the infamous Lizard Squad Christmas 2014 attacks, though those involved in that particular incident were sentenced years ago. One person involved in the Christmas attack, Zachary Buchta, received just three months in prison, though he was made to pay a much larger restitution than Thompson, at $350,000. Lizard Squad member Julius Kivimaki of Finland, meanwhile, was only served a two year suspended sentence and asked to combat cybercrime.
Kivimaki’s punishment was controversial at the time as many felt it was too lenient. This included John Smedley, who was the president of Daybreak Game Company at the time of these attacks. Smedley was harassed by Kivimaki on multiple occasions, including an incident where Kivimaki called in a bomb threat to bring down a plane that Smedley was on.
DDoS attacks on video game services seemed to be much more common in 2013 and 2014, so perhaps the arrests of Lizard Squad members and Austin Thompson of DerpTrolling has actually curbed the practice. We haven’t had an incident on the scale of the Christmas 2014 attacks since then, and hopefully nothing like that will happen again.
As video games and the world in general continues to move to an increasingly digital future, it will be interesting to see how laws will change along with the technology. Cyberattacks are an increasingly more serious matter, and it’s likely that punishment for such crimes will become stricter in the coming years.