The botnet, a variant of the Mirai botnet, was developed by the defendant with the help of others between roughly 2015 until November 2016, specifically for being used to target gaming platforms in DDoS attacks.
The conspirators used it to infect and convert Internet-connected video cameras, recorders, and other Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices into bots that were used as the “army” that powered the group’s DDoS attacks.
The defendant, a minor when the attacks took place, and his conspirators targeted their massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack at the Sony PlayStation Network’s gaming platform but it also affected the systems of Domain Name System (DNS) provider Dyn.
After the attack, many of the sites and services using Dyn’s DNS servers were also affected by this attack and remained down throughout the next day while the DNS provider was working to bring back up the main DNS servers targeted by the conspirators’ botnet.
The massive DDoS attack indirectly affected Dyn’s servers and brought down a substantial part of the Internet across both North America and Europe together with Sony’s PlayStation Network, the primary target of the attack.
“According to court documents, on Oct. 21, 2016, the individual and others used the botnet they created to launch several DDoS attacks in an effort to take the Sony PlayStation Network’s gaming platform offline for a sustained period,” DoJ press release said.
“The DDoS attacks impacted a domain name resolver, New Hampshire-based Dyn, Inc., which caused websites, including those pertaining to Sony, Twitter, Amazon, PayPal, Tumblr, Netflix, and Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), to become either completely inaccessible, or accessible only intermittently for several hours that day. “