Online gambling websites invest millions of dollars to implement the latest in online security attacks to prevent them from cyber attacks. Max Whitehouse, a teenager in the United Kingdom found it all too easy to bypass the online security of a gambling website and would then go on to launch a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack that would cause the website’s operations to be affected and result in the company losing thousands of dollars.
Whitehouse was 17 years old when he launched the attack and appeared to do it only to prove to himself that he had the ability to hack into online gambling websites and bypass their latest security initiatives. Prior to launching his DDOS attack, Whitehouse used his mother’s Twitter account to tell the world what he planned to do and it did not take long for the UK authorities to pin down Whitehouse as the cyber attacker. The website had claimed that it had lost around £18,000 pounds as a result of the DDOS attack.
It took two years for the case to be processed and come before Judge Michael Stokes from the Nottingham Crown Court who found the evidence very conclusive. The authorities also stated that while arresting Whitehouse they found a number of illegal weapons including a stun gun which was disguised as an iPhone, 8 knuckledusters and a number of tear gas canisters. Whitehouse admitted to buying all these items online from Chinese websites.
Adrian Reynolds, the attorney that represented Whitehouse stated that his client was suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity and an obsessive-compulsive disorder and asked the judge to take this into consideration during his sentencing. Reynolds also stated that his client appeared to be someone who preferred to buy and hoard weapons rather than someone who was looking to carry out an attack and cause harm to someone.
Judge Stokes heard both sides of the case and then decided to sentence the now 19 year old Max Whitehouse to spend 1 year in prison for his DDOS attack and caused Whitehouse to breakdown as his sentence was pronounced.
However Judge Stokes also decided to suspend Whitehouse’s sentence stating that serving time in prison might end up doing more harm than good for the 19 year old as it would expose him to hardened criminals and might be very damaging to his future. Judge Stokes said that he was convinced that Whitehouse had no intention of selling or distributing any of the weapons he acquired and tongue lashed the teenager for living his life behind a screen instead of going out and living in the real world.