As has the United States, Canada has generated its share of spectacular crack attacks and crackers. In February 2000, the high-profile case of Mafiaboy (his identity was not disclosed at the time because he was a 15-year-old minor) raised Internet security concerns in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere. In fact, say legal analysts, Mafiaboy’s computer cracking trial had the potential to redefine “reasonable doubt” in a relatively unexplored area of Canadian law.
What could have been a lengthy trial ended when Mafiaboy pleaded guilty on January 18, 2001, to charges that he cracked Internet servers and used them as launching pads for extremely costly DoS attacks on several high-profile Websites, including Amazon.com, eBay, and Yahoo!.
As is typical of most young crackers facing the prospect of a long and expensive trial, Mafiaboy admitted his part in the DoS attacks before the Youth Court of Quebec in Montreal. He pleaded guilty to a number of counts of mischief and illegal access to a computer as well as one count of breaching bail conditions. In September 2001, the judge hearing the case ruled that the teenager committed a criminal act and sentenced him to eight months in a youth detention center. The judge also ordered Mafiaboy to have one year of probation after his detention ended and fined him $250. Nowadays, Mafiaboy writes high tech pieces for Canoe, an online news and information company based in Toronto, Canada. One of his interesting columns, entitled “Hacking becoming even easier,” details his strategy for the exploits that got him detention time.
Schell, B.H., Dodge, J.L., with S.S. Moutsatsos. The Hacking of America: Who’s Doing It, Why, and How. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2002.