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The hacker who crippled gaming services is being sentenced to 27 months in the slammer

DerpTroll is now PerpTroll, amirite?

derptrolling hacker serving 27 months
Image: KnowYourMeme

The hacker who started the trend of Christmastime Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against gaming service providers was just sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Austin Thompson, or DerpTroll as he was known online, was behind the @DerpTrolling hacker group, which announced its works on the Twitter handle of the same name. Everyone from EA to Xbox to Steam was affected by his script attacks during his most active stretch during the 2013 holiday period.

You might not be familiar with the name DerpTroll, but you know his works

Austin’s hacking days might have started in 2011, but it was in December 2013 that he made his name. The Christmas period is a busy time for gaming service providers, with a major influx of new users due to console gifting. Austin, via the DerpTrolling handle, disrupted that for millions of people.

  • DerpTrolling started a trend of holiday DDoS attacks, with a campaign from Lizard Squad during Christmastime 2014, Phantom Squad in 2015, R.I.U. Star Patrol in 2016, and some lone hackers in 2017
  • One effect of his attacks was to spur the gaming providers to add strong DDoS mitigation services to their networks
  • Nobody was safe in that holiday period, with Sony’s PlayStation Network, Valve’s Steam, Microsoft’s Xbox Live, EA, Riot Games, Nintendo, Quake Live, DOTA2 and League of Legends servers all targeted, along with many others

It’s pretty clear that “doing it for the lulz” has real-world consequences. The annual attacks spurred the FBI to act, tracking down Austin and also seizing the domains of 15 DDoS-for-hire services last year. That’s probably why you were able to play your multiplayer games over Christmas 2018, so chalk one up for the good guys.

What do you think? Is 27 months an appropriate punishment for the crime? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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