According to a Justice Department (DoJ) press release, Austin Thompson, a.k.a. “DerpTroll,” took down servers of several major gaming platforms including Electronic Arts’ Origin service, the Sony PlayStation network, and Valve Software’s Steam, between December 2013 and January 2014, by flooding them with enough internet traffic.
Thompson then typically used the Twitter account the @DerpTrolling handle to announce his attacks, subsequently posting screenshots or other photos of the server being unavailable after launching DDoS attacks.
Thompson pleaded guilty in federal court in San Diego on Thursday and was charged with causing damages to a protected computer, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years prison, a fine of $250,000, as well as three years supervised release.
Active since 2011, the DerpTrolling hacking group is believed to be operated by Thompson, who write malware used to launch the DDoS attacks against online services around the world.
Several teenagers last year from around the world were charged with participating in the Lizard Squad 2014 DDoS attacks.