Computer Crime Research Center


Five million emails take down website...

Date: July 14, 2004
By: Will Sturgeon

An aggrieved teenager, sacked from his £120-per-week job, has taken revenge on his bosses by bombarding them with five million emails, effectively crippling their website.

The spam-happy youngster was sacked for failing to complete his time-sheet and decided to launch a denial of service attack against those who had wronged him at UK insurers Domestic &General.

The five-million mail attack brought the company's servers to their knees, brought down the corporate website and cost an estimated £18,000 in lost business (an amount it would have taken almost three years for the youth to earn).

The angry youth has admitted using a spam tool which he downloaded from the internet, capable of sending 100 emails every second, according to the Sun newspaper.

According to the paper he claimed the emails were harmless and constituted nothing more offensive or damaging than "classic lines" from several movies - while clearly choosing not to revisit the fact he sent a server-crippling five million of them.

However, while he may well have been delighted with the chaos he caused, the adolescent cybercriminal may have been less thrilled when Scotland Yard's computer crime unit came knocking on his door.

He now faces six months in prison or a fine of up to £5,000.

The youngster has complained of unlawful arrest to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
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