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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
'Mafiaboy' faces sentencing
The attacks in February 2000 raised questions about internet security
Attacks raised questions about internet security
A teenage hacker who jammed major websites such as Yahoo and Amazon should be detained for at least a year, said the prosecution ahead of the boy's sentencing on 12 September.

The boy, known by his internet nickname of Mafiaboy, faces a maximum sentence of two years of youth detention.

His family have pleaded for him to be allowed to out on probation.


He has no remorse or no real comprehension of the crimes he committed

Prosecutor Louis Miville-Deschenes
Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to 58 charges related to attacks and security breaches of websites in the United States, Canada, Denmark and Korea in February 2000.

The attacks, estimated to have cost companies millions of dollars in lost revenue, shook the e-commerce industry because of the apparent ease with which major sites were made inaccessible.

'No remorse'

The Montreal boy, who cannot be identified under Canadian law, was 15 years old at the time of the attacks.

At a hearing on Wednesday, prosecutor Louis Miville-Deschenes said the seriousness of the crimes and the youth's lack of remorse justified a one-year sentence.

"He has tried to justify his crimes in a completely illogical manner," he said.


I'd rather risk sending him to school than risk sending him to detention with bad influences

Mafiaboy's lawyer Yan Romanowski
"He has no remorse or no real comprehension of the crimes he committed."

But lawyers for Mafiaboy argued that sending him to a youth detention facility with violent offenders would cause more harm than good.

"I'd rather risk sending him to school than risk sending him to detention with bad influences," said his lawyer, Yan Romanowski, calling for probation and mandatory community service.

Family plea

Mafiaboy's family have also urged clemency. His mother told the Montreal judge on Tuesday that her son was "not a bad boy," pointing out this his first offense and no violence was involved.

The attacks in February 2000 raised questions about internet security.

Mafiaboy mounted denial-of-service attacks against sites belonging to five companies, including Amazon, Dell and eBay, Yahoo! and CNN.

The sites were bombarded with thousands of simultaneous messages, which prevented legitimate users from accessing them for up to five hours.

Other charges involved illegal use of computers to help with the attacks.

See also:

16 Feb 00 | Sci/Tech
Special report: The web under attack
26 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Unweaving the world wide web
06 Sep 99 | e-cyclopedia
Cracking: Hackers turn nasty
10 Feb 00 | Business
How the web was wounded
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