A teenager who administered the botnet behind some of the world's biggest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks has escaped jail following a criminal trial.
Instead, a judge handed 19-year old Jack William Chappell, from Stockport in Greater Manchester, a 16-month detention order suspended for two years.
Police arrested the teen in June 2017 after receiving allegations that he was running a DDoS-for-hire platform.
The network of compromised computers was used to carry out a range of DDoS attacks, with targets including EE, Vodafone, O2, NatWest, BT, Amazon, Virgin Media and the BBC.
Investigators claim that Chappell was working as an administrator for vDOS, which was previously the world's biggest DDoS-for-hire platform. Israeli Police ordered a shut down of the service in 2016.
Although Chappell didn't create vDOS, he played a crucial role in its running. The service was created by cyber crooks known as Yarden "applej4ck" Bidani and Itay "p1st" Huri.
Chappell was only 15 when he began working with them. His job was to maintain the service and its botnet, although he also conducted his own DDoS attacks on the side.
The teen claims to suffer from a form of autism, and his defence argued that his employers were taking advantage of him. They claimed in court that he was "mischievous" rather than malicious.
According to the Manchester Evening News, prosecutor Kevin Barry said: "It was a structured commercial enterprise, the way the attacks were delivered was very effective.
"They were more persistent and aggressive than other DDoS attacks. They were beyond what they had seen before."
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