Juvenile computer hacker pleads guilty

A male juvenile, who has been widely known in the hacker underground by his online moniker, Dshocker, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to computer intrusion, interstate threats, and wire fraud, stemming from hacking, botnet and swatting activities. In accordance with federal law, the juvenile was not publicly named.

The prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the government would have proven that, from 2005-2008, the defendant hacked into multiple corporate computer systems and took command of thousands of other computers in a botnet, directing them to perform cyber attacks on victim computer servers; placed hoax emergency telephone calls to elicit armed police responses from SWAT (“special weapons and tactics”) police teams and others, as well as reported phony bomb threats, and made fraudulent credit card purchases with stolen credit cards.

His swatting activities created a serious risk of physical harm to innocent victims, and the multiple bomb threats caused extensive disruptions to important public services. Furthermore, the defendant’s hacking activities were disruptive to major companies’ computer systems, and they wreaked havoc on tens of thousands of computers that were compromised.

While Judge Saylor will impose sentence, the defendant has agreed to the imposition of an 11-month prison sentence, which would take place in a juvenile detention facility. Had he been tried as an adult, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution.

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