back to article London teen pleads guilty to Spamhaus DDoS

A 17 year-old Londoner has pleaded guilty to a series of denial-of-service attacks against internet exchanges and the Spamhaus anti-spam service last year. The teenager – who we cannot name for legal reasons – also admitted money laundering and possessing indecent images. faces a sentencing hearing on 9 January, a police …

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    going down

    That kid has screwed his life up. Even if he doesn't go to the Big House he's won a free ticket to the Sex Offenders register.

    Oh well. Another idiot has Darwin'ed his life goodbye.

    1. Joe Drunk

      Re: going down

      I don't understand the downvote, probably another angry loner who thinks script kiddies should be allowed to DDOS anything on the internet they want.

      That's the problem with being a wannabee l337 h@xor. You're (in)famous for only very a short time. After that the rest of your life is a toilet. Try getting a job.

      No, no bragging rights later - you will have been replaced by another wannabee l337 h@xor. No one will remember your name.

      1. The elephant in the room

        Re: going down

        Surely not!? If TV has taught me anything, at this point you get recruited by a secret government agency staffed entirely by beautiful teens & 20somethings plus a grizzled older boss, and your now ethical hacking will now require lots of exciting fieldwork with sportscars, night vision goggles, laser tripwires and parachute jumps.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: going down

        "No one will remember your name."

        And in this case, being under 18, no one other than his friends even know his name, so even that "fame" is denied him. He's been DoSed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: going down

          Being that he is under 18, what are the odds that the "indecent images of children" were of himself or a similarly aged girlfriend?

          I have no kick about him being banged up on the hacking and laundering charges, but I question the KP charge, given the ludicrously low bar for what counts as "indecent images of children" in the UK.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: going down

            Being that he is under 18, what are the odds that the "indecent images of children" were of himself or a similarly aged girlfriend?

            I would say about 100%.

            That still makes him GUILTY OF OFFENDING DAILY MAIL READERS! DE-REZZ HIM NOW!

          2. Daggerchild Silver badge

            Re: going down

            Being that he is under 18, what are the odds that the "indecent images of children" were of himself or a similarly aged girlfriend?

            There's also a known hacker/scrote tactic of dropping the nastiest childpron you can find on someone else's machine, dobbing them in, then watching the authorities savage the freshly-dehumanised target.

            Of course, that means they often keep a ready payload to hand, and if *they* get caught, it blows up in *their* face.

            But as you said, the laws are now so hairtriggered here that online Manga in your browser cache can mean you're making 'copies' of 'child pron' and are thus 'making and distributing' which is Game Over.

          3. Harry the Bastard

            Re: going down

            don't care, fuck him

            he's a net negative contribution to humanity, removing him from the gene pool is a good thing

      3. auburnman

        Re: going down

        I downvoted, not because I'm "another angry loner who thinks script kiddies should be allowed to DDOS anything on the internet", but because the original commenter is exactly right: that kid's life is completely fucked. On top of whatever punishment the courts dish out, he has a criminal record, probably an entry in the sex offenders register, and no work experience. AT BEST his future is shelf stacking or some other minimum wage menial job, more likely a life of crime as no one will touch him with a barge pole. All stemming from some petty vandalism when he was 16? Excuse me if I can't feel good about that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: going down

          "Petty vandalism"? I seriously beg to differ. I hardly think that a DDoS on this scale is nothing but "petty vandalism". He deserves whatever punishment he gets and perhaps his parents might have considered explaining the meaning of those two little words, "right" and "wrong", a bit earlier in his life.

          1. auburnman

            Re: going down

            I'm not saying what he did wasn't wrong*, I'm saying his life is fucked out of all proportion to the harm caused.

            *Incidentally neither did he - he plead guilty - so all the comments claiming he is denying responsibility are misinformed.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: going down

              "I'm saying his life is fucked out of all proportion to the harm caused."

              He's less fucked now than he would be if he was ordered to repay the _direct_ extra costs he caused to various ISPs (The extra bandwidth Spamhaus has to lay in against DDoS attacks costs a few hundred thousand pounds per year, for starters)

              Perhaps reparations should be on the table too.

        2. Looper
          FAIL

          Re: going down - rubbish

          @auburnman: Petty vandalism...? Jestly you sure...?

          Major DDOS attempt that if successful would've taken out an internet backbone! Since when is that petty vandalism? Major destructive vandalism more like, and WITH assistance. That in itself says that is was planned with others and probably well organised. It was not petty crime, and could have caused millions worth of damage if it succeeded. He should get a criminal record for that attempted crime alone.

          At 17 if you are that clueless that you don't know the extent of this crime, then you belong in the Darwinian gene pool. And if you do know, then you deserve everything that they throw at you. Either way there is no mitigating circumstances in such attempted criminal activity. 14 year olds are more responsible and/or clued in than this particular 17 year old from the Camberwell area.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: going down

        I wondered how long it would be before someone rolled out the condescending term "script kiddie". It was post #2

        I usually find that anyone using that term is trying to imply that, (apart from the reciever knowing nothing) they have been there, done it , are an old time l337 hacker who never got caught and never bragged, friends with Mitnick and rtm. The very fact they are posting shows this is not true.

        That said , is was probly legitinately used by 'Joe' in this case

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: going down

          Hackers do original things.

          Crackers is a racial epithet in the USA, so best avoided.

          Skiddies is the best way to describe malicious kids using someone else's code indiscrimininately.

    2. Eric Olson

      Re: going down

      I'll add to the downvotes and ask a simple question: When you were 16 (the crime was 18 months ago), did you possess the executive functions to properly assess the consequences of your actions? The reality is no, though I'm sure some folks will chime in and claim they were some type of wunderkind that developed a fully functioning brain in 2/3rds the time as the rest of humanity.

      So while you might just be pointing out the reality, the fact that you don't call them out as unfair or even over-the-top means you bear some responsibility for perpetuating these absurd punishments, though not to the level of the the slackwits further down the thread who are baying for blood.

      1. Jim 59

        Re: going down

        When you were 16 (the crime was 18 months ago), did you possess the executive functions to properly assess the consequences of your actions?

        No, not every action, and juvenile poor judgement leads many young people into some sort of minor scrape or other, me included. But you don't need nuanced judgement to realize that it is wrong to commit a major crime, and that doing so will have major repercussions. Therefore, he bears some responsibility for what he has done. How much responsibility depends on him, and the circs of the case. But I take your point some forgiveness is appropriate and with it he might still have a good life.

      2. Amorous Cowherder
        Facepalm

        Re: going down

        "When you were 16 (the crime was 18 months ago), did you possess the executive functions to properly assess the consequences of your actions?"

        Nope and while I might have done some bloody stupid petty crimes and vandalism, I didn't try to nick a lorry and clog up the M1 motorway!! That's basically what this kid was doing, trying to take a piece of infrastructure offline. This little prat knew what he was doing, he knew that he was technically trying to bring down an organisations infrastructure or the public facing part of it. Even when I was vandalising stuff as a spotty little bastard 25 years ago, I knew it was wrong. I knew I'd get nicked by the Police if I got caught and I knew I'd most likely end up in court and fined. My parents would have gone fecking ape-shit if they knew some of the stupid stuff I did as a kid but I don't deny that I knew what I was doing and I knew it was against the law. I grew up after a while when I knew that sooner or later my luck would run out and I would screw up my chances of staying at college and certainly screw up getting a job afterwards.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Eric Olson Re: going down

        ".....When you were 16 (the crime was 18 months ago), did you possess the executive functions to properly assess the consequences of your actions?....." Yes, but then my parents taught me right from wrong from an early age. I most definitely would have been able to discern money laundering, DDoSing and kiddie porn were wrong and illegal by the age of sixteen, and probably a lot younger.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: going down and guilty doing it

        @Eric Olson:

        "I'll add to the downvotes and ask a simple question: When you were 16 (the crime was 18 months ago), did you possess the executive functions to properly assess the consequences of your actions?"

        He DAMN WELL KNEW his actions were criminal. Accomplishing a DDoS at that level just doesn't "happen", he did not simply log on to a web site and click "Blow up internet here!", it required tools. Tools that are not available at every 'street corner' of the internet; you don't text your school buddy "Can I have tonight's homework assignment and a copy of the full DDoS package while you're at it??"

        He went out of his WAY to get the tools necessary to accomplish the feat and then investigate the target, teach himself the techniques necessary to use the package against said target and then implement the package with enough technical skill to get the results he expected. None of these behaviors or actions occurs by accident and none of them can be dismissed as simply an uneducated kid playing around with computers as something to bide away his time - all of the aforementioned situations required active participation and energy on his part.

        Trying to dismiss his acts as simply one of 'youthful ignorance of possible repercussions' is like standing in front of a bank, facing the police officer who just arrested you, with the burglar alarm going off behind you while claiming "But it wasn't me". While he looks inside the bag he yanked directly from your hands that still contains the industrial-grade hammer impact drill, diamond-tipped bits, 2KG dynamite, professional lock picking tools, wirecutters and bank floor plans.

        Sorry, but "I didn't know!" just doesn't cut it here.

  2. Osgard Leach

    Also from Camberwick Green Youth Court, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub up on arson charges. Shocking.

    1. Bloakey1

      <snip>

      "Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub up on arson charges. "

      <snip>

      My God!! Childhood heroes out in a public fora for being homosexual! Luckily my latter day heroes Alan Turing and Lawrence of Arabia are macho enough to pass muster (1.).

      1. I should be thankful that Pugh, Pugh and Barney McGrew have not been outed for incest or indecent exposure.

  3. jason 7 Silver badge

    Kid's these days...

    ...don't learn the lesson of consequences.

    When the sh*t finally hits the fan it's then "wahh wahh wahh it's not my fault!"

    Tough!

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Re: Kid's these days...

      In all fairness to the guy we don't know that. He may stand motionless and silent in court with only a Wolfie Smith style freedom salute as answer to 'The Man'.

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: Kid's these days...

      It was society wot did it, that and autism.

      Personal culpability fell by the way side many moons ago.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spamhaus

    I don't condone DDoS attacks, but as it was against Spamhaus, then good on him..

    Those bastards blacklisted an entire /24 subnet I was on due to one spammer & refused to lift the block when I complained. Wrote sternly worded letters to their upstream provider (and their provider's backbone provider) telling them I would hold them to account for allowing business destroying practices, and the block was removed in under 48 hours.

    Never did get an apology from them.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Spamhaus

      "Wrote sternly worded letters to their upstream provider (and their provider's backbone provider)"

      Nice of you to hide behind an AC banner. Too chicken to stand up and identify yourself?

      Spamhaus only list /24s when the providers don't remove spammers after being given LOTS of warnings.

      In any case, your "right" to send mail ends at MY mailserver. I can tell you to fuck off at any time I choose to see fit, for any reason I see fit. If you're in a netblock with a spammer then the outfit you need to beat up on is the wankfest who tolerates having the spammer in their network in the first place.

      I'd love it if someone at the reg outed your posting IP - you'd find out what blacklisting REALLY means, as the shutters go down on thousands of individual lists you'd never find yourself removed from.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No big deal

    In Blighty they allow hackers, pirates and other digital crims to skate because authorities are still living in the Dark Ages. You can bet this kid will make another mistake down the road and that will remove another perp from society. It's a slow process but it's foolproof.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: No big deal

      It's a slow process but it's foolproof.

      New regions of stupid plumbed. Film at 11.

  6. Conrad Longmore

    Cannot name for legal reasons?

    Let me name names instead, he is ████████ ██ ████████

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cannot name for legal reasons?

      You must be mistaken. George Biden's son has been called to the board of Ukraine's biggest gas producer, not to court.

      1. Angol

        Re: Cannot name for legal reasons?

        JOE Biden. FTFY.

  7. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    lucky

    hes not in the US, they would have offered him a deal of "work for us,name your associates and get 12 months in the slammer or you can have 40 years in the slammer with no parole"

    And then the judge would have torn up the deal and given him 40 years in the slammer anyway...

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