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Teenager behind Microsoft and Sony hacks jailed for two years

"I have a duty to the public who are worried about this," says judge.

Teenage hacker Adam Mudd has been sentenced to two years in prison after creating software used to hack businesses such as Microsoft and Sony.

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Adam Mudd.

As reported by The Guardian, Mudd created the nefarious code, Titanium Stresser, when he was only 16. He then set up a business selling it to fellow hackers, where he made 386k in the process.

His work was found accountable for 1.7m hacks. He was also found guilty of carrying out 594 distributed denial of service attacks against 181 IP addresses between December 2013 and March 2015.

He even breached the security of his school, West Herts College, causing the network to crash and costing the establishment roughly 2000 to investigate.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay alleged that Mudd's program was used by 112,000 people to hack 666k IP address, 53k of which were in the UK

Gaming-wise, one title particularly hampered by Mudd's scheming was RuneScape, which suffered 25k attacks and cost the company 6m to beef up its security against DDoS attacks, along with another estimated revenue loss of 184k.

Both the prosecution and defense agreed that Mudd, who lived with his parents at the time of his arrest after being expelled from college, wasn't motivated by money. Instead, it was status among his online cohorts that he sought.

"This was an unhappy period for Mr. Mudd, during which he suffered greatly," said defense attorney Ben Cooper. "This is someone seeking friendship and status within the gaming community."

He further noted that Mudd had become "lost in an alternate reality" due to bullying at school.

Polnay argued the fact that he wasn't motivated by money made Mudd more dangerous, possibly because he wasn't doing this to get out of dire straits or support an otherwise financially unattainable lifestyle.

According to The Guardian, Mudd, who is now 20, "showed no emotion as he was sent to a young offender institution."

Ultimately judge Michael Topolski QC ruled that Mudd "knew full well and understood completely this was not a game for fun" and that his dealing were "a serious money-making business" with his software functioning exactly as intended. As such, Topolski stated that Mudd's sentence must have a "real element of deterrent" to ward off any would-be hackers.

"I have a duty to the public who are worried about this, threatened by this, damaged by this all the time," the judge said. "It's terrifying."

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