Two years after his alleged cyber attack on a large-scale gambling company (which went unnamed in the prosecution), 19-year-old Max Dean Whitehouse was found guilty at the end of November and sentenced to one year in prison.
Whitehouse was arrested after using his mother’s Twitter account to tell of his plans to use a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack to take down the site. Whitehouse’s attack, which bombarded the company’s servers with information causing interruptions in network performance, is said to have cost the site roughly £18,000 in revenue.
When police went to Whitehouse’s home, they found CS gas canisters, a stun gun, and knuckle-dusters, possession of which can carry a six-month jail sentence. Whitehouse, who suffers from OCD and attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) according to court documents, was fined £200 for possessing the weapons, but avoided additional jail time.
“You were, at the relevant time, extremely naïve. I am satisfied you had no intention whatsoever of selling or distributing any of those items,” said Judge Michael Stokes. With regard to the DDoS attack, the judge added, “Your object was to see if you could do it. You were living your life through a screen, rather than outside,” and recommended that Whitehouse “get out more and play rugby or something.”
Though the target company went unnamed, many online gambling sites have been targetted by DDoS attacks in recent years, including partypoker, 888poker and Betfair.
(Photo credit: Dennis Skley, Creative Commons)
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