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'Mafiaboy' Gets 8 Months For DDoS Attacks
Steven Bonisteel, Newsbytes 2001-09-12

Montreal teen sentenced to custody and probation for web attacks.

A Canadian teen whose hacking efforts knocked a handful of popular Web sites offline for hours at a time early last year was sentenced today to eight months in a youth detention center.

The 17-year-old, who can't be named under Canada's laws for the treatment of young offenders, has been known as Mafiaboy, according to authorities, who say he launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that incapacitated Web sites in February 2000.

In January, the Montreal, Quebec teen pleaded guilty to nearly 60 charges of mischief resulting from the attacks on sites that included Amazon.com, CNN.com, Yahoo.com, Ebay.com, and the Web home of computer maker Dell.

Today, Quebec Youth Court Judge Gilles Ouellet said Mafiaboy would have to spend time in a detention center, to be followed by a year's probation. The maximum sentence could have been two years of detention.

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokesman in Montreal told Newsbytes that Judge Ouellet ordered what is known as "open custody," which means Mafiaboy's temporary residence will look more like a reform school than a prison.

Until the end of his probation, the teen is also prohibited from associating with "hacker/cracker" groups or visiting Web sites, chat rooms or message boards related to those topics. And if Mafiaboy does get back on the Internet again, he will have to tell the RCMP which Internet service providers he uses.

The RCMP charged Mafiaboy in April 2000 after an investigation initially launched in the U.S. by the FBI.

Authorities said Mafiaboy broke into computers on more than 50 networks around the world - many operated by universities - in order to install and launch automated DDoS software known as Sinkhole. Mafiaboy then directed that remote-controlled software to bombard the targeted Web servers with so many requests they often buckled under the load.

One site, that of online auctioneer Ebay, was offline for as long as six hours under Mafiaboy's attacks.

The many charges against Mafiaboy stemmed largely from the individual break-ins at computers commandeered as Sinkhole "zombies."

In court today, Mafiaboy was also fined $250 for failing to comply fully with conditions of his release while awaiting sentencing.

Earlier this year, the teen was reported to have been working as a bus boy in a Montreal restaurant.

Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com .

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