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'DerpTroll' derps into plea deal, admits DDoS attacks on EA, Steam, Sony game servers

Austin Thompson, 23, cops to $95,000 worth of damage

The man accused over DDoS-bombing several online games hosts in 2013 and 2014 has entered a guilty plea under a deal with US authorities.

According to the US Attorney's Office, District of California, part of the "DerpTrolling" plea deal cut by 23-year-old Austin Thompson of Utah involved him admitting to causing $95,000 worth of damage.

As we reported in 2014, the DerpTrolling DDoS attacks hit Steam, EA Origin, and Sony Online Entertainment between December 2013 and January 2014.

At the time, in the absence of anything other than Twitter announcements, it was assumed that DerpTrolling was a group, but the Department of Justice media statement attributes the attacks to Thompson alone:

Thompson typically used the Twitter account @DerpTrolling to announce that an attack was imminent and then posted screenshots or other photos showing that victims' servers had been taken down after the attack. The attacks took down game servers and related computers around the world, often for hours at a time.

Shortly after the attacks, "white hat hackers" on Twitter doxxed Thompson (for example, recorded here by Wayback), but there's nothing to link this to his arrest.

The maximum penalty for the charge of "Damage to a Protected Computer" is 10 years in prison with three years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

Thompson will be sentenced on 1 March 2019. ®

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