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Video Game Beef Leads to University Server Hacking

A North Carolina resident admitted in federal court Wednesday to targeting SUNY Plattsburgh school servers to kick a student off an online video game in 2016, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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(TNS) — A North Carolina resident admitted in federal court Wednesday to targeting SUNY Plattsburgh servers to kick a student off an online video game in 2016, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to his plea agreement, Thomas A. Johnson, 24, of Boone, North Carolina, was playing the game with a student who was using SUNY Plattsburgh's internet services on March 2, 2016.

OFFENDED DURING GAME

At one point during the game's session, Johnson, whose screen name was IEGOKIDS, was offended by something the student said, according to the agreement, and decided to retaliate by initiating a distributed denial of services attack.

The DDoS attack triggered thousands of Domain Name Server lookup requests, which generated traffic from multiple websites, the plea agreement said. SUNY Plattsburgh's servers were overwhelmed from the congestion of requests, which resulted in outages in the university's network.

OUTAGE FOR HOUR

SUNY Plattsburgh's internet and telephone services, as well as its course management server and the server used by university police, were affected, the agreement said. The outages lasted about an hour.

Johnson faces up to one year in prison, a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to one year of supervised release for his offense: intentionally causing damage to a protected computer, a misdemeanor.

He's scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 20 before United States Magistrate Judge Daniel Stewart.

© 2021 the Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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