Teenage hacker makes £400, 000 by developing a virus, attacks hundreds of organisations

A teenage hacker from Hertfordshire, Adam Mudd, then 16 created a computer hacking software, Titanium Stresser tool which he sold to cyber criminals across the world which was used to launch 1.7 Million attacks. The tool inflicted distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on targeted websites. Virus lets users crash websites and computers by flooding them with data. Using the username themuddfamily, he also carried out 594 attacks himself against 181 victims in a span of 18 months including one on his own college, West Herts. He attacked 70 other schools and colleges.

Mudd, now 20 pleaded guilty to three offenses under the Computer Misuse Act and money laundering at an earlier hearing in October which involve impairing the operation of computers, contravening the Computer Misuse Act and concealing criminal property. He is facing jail charges.

He made about £380, 000 between September 2013 and March 2015 by selling the software which cost universities, schools, the universities of Cambridge, Essex and East Anglia, gaming websites like RuneScape, Minecraft, Xbox Live, computer gamers’ communications tool TeamSpeak and other businesses millions of pounds trying to defend themselves. The court heard there were about 25,000 attacks on fantasy game, RuneScape which is 1.4 percent of the total attacks and the company which owns it spent £6m in the last four years trying to defend itself.

The program had 112,298 registered users who carried out the attacks on over 666,000 IP addresses. Of those, nearly 53,000 were in the UK. He received a total of £240,153.66 and 249.81 bitcoins – worth an overall £386,079. He is expected to be sentenced next week.

Mudd, who lived with his parents in Kings Langley was said to have been more interested in his online status than the money brought in by his software.

The computer science student, who has Asperger syndrome and “lost in an alternate reality” wrote the program in September 2013 after withdrawing from school to avoid bullying, the Old Bailey heard. Mudd developed the software from his bedroom. Mudd had been offline for two years, which was a form of punishment for any computer-obsessed teenager.

Mudd had been in his bedroom when he was arrested at his home in Toms Lane, Kings Langley, in March 2015 and he refused to unlock his computer until his father intervened.

The court hearing coincided with a report by the National Crime Agency which found that teenage hackers are motivated more by idealism and impressing their friends than obtaining money.

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