'Mafiaboy' sentenced to 8 months in detention

"Mafiaboy," the Canadian teenager responsible for a series of massive Distributed Denial of Service attacks in February 2000, was sentenced to eight months detention by a Canadian judge in Quebec Thursday, according to Robert Currie, leader of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's (RCMP) Computer Investigative Support Unit in Montreal. Mafiaboy had faced up to two years in prison and a fine of up to CA$1,000 ($1200).

Mafiaboy's sentence is actually two consecutive four-month sentences, said Currie, who also worked on the investigation into Mafiaboy's crimes. The sentence requires Mafiaboy to spend those eight months in open custody, which is essentially a strict reform school in which the population can gain privileges through good behavior, Currie said. The alternative, closed custody, is more like juvenile detention, he said.

In addition, Mafiaboy will be on probation for one year, Currie said. The terms of that probation include that Mafiaboy must advise the RCMP of what ISP (Internet service provider) or other communication service he is using to access the Internet, even if it is the account of a friend, relative or employer, Currie said. Mafiaboy is also barred from owning any software that is not commercially available, from associating with cracker (malicious hacker) groups online or offline and from visiting hacking Web sites, Currie said.

He must also have a job or be in school and cannot receive financial benefit from his crimes through books, movies or speaking engagements, Currie said. At the end of the year's probation, if Mafiaboy has followed these guidelines, the probation will be terminated, Currie said.

The now-17-year-old cracker, known only as Mafiaboy because Canadian law prevents the naming of underage offenders, pled guilty in January to 55 counts of mischief in connection to the Distributed Denial of Service attacks that brought down CNN.com, Yahoo.com, Amazon.com and other major Web sites in February 2000. In total, 11 sites were knocked offline for between hours and days, causing substantial losses.

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is one in which false requests for service are sent to target systems so frequently that they are overloaded and are unable to answer legitimate traffic requests. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), as was used by Mafiaboy, is one in which multiple computers worldwide are taken over and used to launch DoS attack. The distributed nature of such attacks makes them more damaging and harder to block.

Mafiaboy's exploits were among the first massive and well-publicized DDoS attacks and have led to substantial industry focus on the problem of Denial of Service attacks and how to combat them. A number of companies have arisen in the wake of Mafiaboy's attacks to offer products to aid in the detection and blocking of such attacks.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sam Costello

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?