Daybreak Games awarded $95,000 in Utah DDoS hacking case

Daybreak will receive restitution from a hacker who will spend years behind bars for perpetrating DDoS attacks across multiple gaming services.


There are times when cyber crime just doesn't pay and this looks to be one of those instances. On Tuesday, a man who doled out a series of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks against Daybreak Games was sentenced in federal court to 27 months in prison, as part of a plea agreement.

Austin Thompson, a 23-year-old man out of Utah, had perpetrated these attacks against the former Sony Online Entertainment at various points in 2013 and 2014. Thompson would take responsibility for his attacks through the Twitter handle @DerpTrolling, where he would also post photos of downed servers. The DDoS attacks would target a handful of the Daybreak library, such as DC Universe Online, Everquest, and H1Z1. His attacks also extended to other services, like, Steam, Origin, and the PlayStation Network. While no motive was issued by the Justice Department, Thompson had frequently stated through the aforementioned Twitter account that he was doing it all for "the lulz." Thompson's antics were chronicled in a 2014 report by The Guardian that chronicled a war with a rival hacking group that led to his outing.

A sample of some of Thompson's work. (Source: Daybreak forums)

This case is not to be confused with the infamous Lizard Squad attacks of that same time period, conducted by a different party.

"Denial-of-service attacks cost businesses and individuals millions of dollars annually," U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said via press release. "We are committed to prosecuting hackers who intentionally disrupt internet access."

As part of his plea deal, Thompson has been ordered to pay $95,000 in restitution to Daybreak. He is currently free on bond, but has been ordered to surrender to authorities on August 23 to begin his sentence. Thompson's crimes had originally carried a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

For more information, be sure to read the full statement from the Justice Department.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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