Mastermind Hacker Adam Mudd Jailed for attacks on Sony and Microsoft

Adam Mudd jailed for two years for creating attack-for-hire business responsible for more than 1.7m breaches worldwide. Adam Mudd was 16 when he created the Titanium Stresser program, which carried out more than 1.7m attacks on websites including Minecraft, Xbox Live and Microsoft and TeamSpeak, a chat tool for gamers.

Adam Mudd was 16 when he created Titanium Stresser, which was used to carry out more than 1.7 million attacks. Photograph: Bedfordshire police/PA


He earned the equivalent of more than £386,000 in US dollars and bitcoins from selling the program to cybercriminals.


Mudd pleaded guilty and was sentenced at the Old Bailey. The judge, Michael Topolski QC, noted that Mudd came from a “perfectly respectable and caring family”. He said the effect of Mudd’s crimes had wreaked havoc “from Greenland to New Zealand, from Russia to Chile”.

Topolski said the sentence must have a “real element of deterrent” and refused to suspend the jail term. “I’m entirely satisfied that you knew full well and understood completely this was not a game for fun,” he told Mudd. “It was a serious money-making business and your software was doing exactly what you created it to do.”

During the two-day hearing, Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, said the effect of Mudd’s hacking program was “truly global”. “Where there are computers, there are attacks – in almost every major city in the world – with hotspots in France, Paris, around the UK,” he said.

Adam carried out 594 of the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against 181 IP addresses between December 2013 and March 2015.

He admitted to security breaches against his college while he was studying computer science. The attacks on West Herts College crashed the network, cost about £2,000 to investigate and caused “incalculable” damage to productivity, the court heard.

Polnay said there were more than 112,000 registered users of Mudd’s program who hacked about 666,000 IP addresses. Of those, nearly 53,000 were in the UK.

Among the targets was the fantasy game RuneScape, which had 25,000 attacks. Its owner company spent £6m trying to defend itself against DDoS attacks, with a revenue loss of £184,000.

When he was arrested in March 2015, Mudd was in his bedroom on his computer, which he refused to unlock before his father intervened.

Mudd, who was expelled from college and now works as a kitchen porter, had been offline for two years, which was a form of punishment for any computer-obsessed teenager, Cooper said.

Cooper said: “This was an unhappy period for Mr Mudd, during which he suffered greatly. This is someone seeking friendship and status within the gaming community.”

The judge said: “I have a duty to the public who are worried about this, threatened by this, damaged by this all the time … It’s terrifying.”