A computer hacker currently in jail for masterminding major global cyberattacks as a teenager has been ordered to pay back nearly $100,000 or face a further two years behind bars.
Adam Mudd, now 21, was jailed last year after developing the “Titanium Stresser” tool which he rented out to cybercriminals to earn him over £250,000. The hacker developed the tool when he was 16 before seeing it used to dispatch over 1.7 million DDoS attacks on websites and gaming servers globally. They included destructive attacks on gaming servers belonging to Xbox Live and games such as Runescape and Minecraft.
The DDoS attacks saw the hacker make his money in US dollars and bitcoins from selling the program to international cybercriminals. At one juncture, there were over 112,000 registered users of his program who had hacked and targeted some 666,000 IP addresses.
“The court heard he personally carried out 594 attacks between December 2013 and March 2015, including one on West Herts College where he was studying computer science,” a BBC report added. Mudd targeted up to 70 schools and colleges, including the University of Cambridge, University of Essex and University of East Anglia, as well as local councils.
Mudd, who suffers from autism, has much of the money tucked away in a PayPal account in Luxembourg. The hacker, who lived at his home with his parents, also had a previously undiagnosed Asperger syndrome and has plead guilty to one count of unauthorized acts with intent to impair the operations of computers and one count of making, supply or offering to supply an article for use in an offence contrary to the Computer Misuse Act, alongside one count of concealing criminal property.
Mudd was ordered to repay £69,000, approximately $100,000, within three months or face another two years in jail.
Mudd’s predicament is a cautionary tale, particularly in the weeks after the death of Adrian Lamo, the infamous ‘homeless hacker’ who previously targeted and got charged with breaching servers belonging to the New York Times.
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