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World of Warcraft attacker jailed in US


World of WarcraftImage copyright
Blizzard

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Thousands of World of Warcraft players struggled to log in to the game as a result of a cyber-attack in 2010

A World of Warcraft gamer has been sentenced to jail in the US for carrying out a cyber-attack that interfered with the service in Europe.

Calin Mateias had been accused of flooding Blizzard Entertainment’s computer servers with traffic between February and September 2010.

He was said to have carried out the distributed denial of service (DDoS) assault to prevent rivals logging in.

Thousands of players were caught up in the resulting disruption.

The Romanian citizen – who had been extradited to Los Angeles to face the charges – pleaded guilty in February to one count of causing damage to a protected computer.

He has also paid $29,987 (£22,176) to Blizzard to cover the costs it racked up trying to repel the data deluge.

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Media captionEXPLAINED: What is a DDoS attack?

Prosecutors in the case said the then 30-year-old had been motivated by a “juvenile desire” to beat his rivals.

“Mateias, using his in-game avatar, often participated in collaborative events, such as ‘raids’ where players joined forces to meet game objectives and were rewarded with virtual proceeds or in-game advantages,” explained the Department of Justice in a press release.

“[He] became involved in disputes with other players for a variety of reasons, including the division of loot and membership in raid teams.”

Mateias – who is said to have used the online alias Dr Mengele, after the Nazi doctor who conducted deadly experiments on prisoners – had also faced charges over his alleged role in an effort to hack and rob California-based computer vendor Ingram Micro.

However, prosecutors dropped the case when Mateias was sentenced to one year in prison over the World of Warcraft affair.



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