Australian hacks game company for revenge

BEN GRUBB
Last updated 14:11 21/03/2014

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A young Queensland man accused of hacking a US-based video game company's computer network allegedly did it so he could sell information to players who wanted to seek out revenge on opponents.

Queensland Police allege the 21-year-old sold information from a database he hacked at the game company to players who wanted to launch attacks on their opponents to thwart their game play.

They allege he sold players' internet protocol (IP) addresses, so they could be used to launch denial-of-service attacks on opponents' internet routers, causing their internet connection speed to slow and deteriorating their ability to play online games.

Police have not confirmed if the man also offered to carry out the denial-of-service attacks.

"What this guy allegedly did was set up his own website where you could purchase or get access to the IP addresses of other players," said Detective Superintendent Brian Hay from Queensland Police's fraud and cybercrime group.

"The idea [of selling IP addresses] being that you can facilitate a denial-of-service attack on opponents and slow down the speed at which they can play the game."

IP addresses, or internet protocol addresses, are assigned to users by their internet providers and are used by computers and home routers to connect to the internet.

Once an attacker knows the IP address of a player's router, they can essentially knock them offline by overloading their connection.

Detective Superintendent Hay said he couldn't name the US company that was attacked, but said that it would be revealed in court documents on April 8, when the 21-year-old Kingaroy man fronts Maryborough Magistrates Court.

Police allege the man illegally accessed the US company's computer databases and files, and hacked the company's Twitter account, where he allegedly posted confidential information and screenshots.

The man has been charged with computer hacking and misuse, fraud, and property offences. Police allege the offences occurred between July 14 and 26, 2013.

He was bailed on Wednesday.

Detective Superintendent Hay said it was one of the first known cases in Australia where denial-of-service had been used to attack home routers.

Such attacks were usually launched on web servers owned by large companies, he said.

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