Adam Mudd, the British hacker who, at the age of sixteen, orchestrated as many as 1.7 million cyber-attacks on the likes of Xbox Live, Minecraft and TeamSpeak by leveraging a software named Titanium Stresser, has been ordered by the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales to pay £69,629 if he wants to avoid another two years in jail.
In April last year, Adam Mudd was sentenced to two years in jail after the court found him guilty of carrying out cyber attacks on several large enterprises by creating and leveraging a software named Titanium Stresser and also selling the software to other hackers in exchange for money.
No quick relief
The court heard that by commercialising his hacking software, Mudd earned £171,000 and hid most of the money in a PayPal account in Luxembourg. While sentencing him to two years in jail last year, Michael Topolski QC observed that even though Mudd's lawyer claimed that money was not a prime motivator and Mudd indulged in cyber crime only to gain respectability in the online gaming community, his crimes mirrored those of a global cyber-terrorist.
“I’m entirely satisfied that you knew full well and understood completely this was not a game for fun. It was a serious money-making business and your software was doing exactly what you created it to do,” the judge said.
The judge has now asked Mudd to pay £69,629 within the next three months, failing which he will be sentenced to another two years in jail. Following his sentencing last year, the National Crime Agency said that teenagers found indulging in cyber crime could face up to 10 years in prison, a visit and warning from police or NCA officers, see their computers confiscated, get arrested and could get charged with fines. At the same time, criminal records could also impact their career prospects in future.
Serious money-making business
In total, Mudd, who lived with his parents in Hertfordshire, earned close to £400,000 in bitcoins and cash over a period of two years. While he himself launched as many as 600 DDoS cyber-attacks on 181 victims, those who bought the software from him used it extensively on 650,000 victims including Xbox Live, Minecraft and Runescape users, culminating to a total of 1.7 million hacking attempts.
Out of 666,000 IP addresses which were targeted using Titanium Stresser, 53,000 were based in the UK. Cyber-attacks on Mudd's own college, which he perpetrated himself, impacted not only college servers but also those of Cambridge, Essex, and East Anglia universities and some local councils.
"It’s important for us to understand why more young people are becoming involved in cyber-crime in order to ensure proper deterrents and alternative opportunities are available for people to enhance their skills and allow them to use positively," said the NCA.
The agency added that the skill barrier into cyber-crime is lower than ever because of the presence of websites and forums which share cheat codes to get around computer games. On these forums, teenagers get to learn new craft like developing trojans, malware and DDoS software.
Image Source: The Mirror