FROM the comfort of his bedroom, computer whiz Shane Stephen Duffy made more than $32,000 from computer gamers who paid him to access other people’s gaming accounts. The 23-year-old hacker also attacked the computers of his online opponents, using knowledge of their IP addresses to slow their internet connections, allowing him to advance in the online game. The IP address is the computer’s address on the internet and identifies that computer for that session or permanently. At Brisbane District Court yesterday, Duffy was sentenced for his crimes, including fraud, computer hacking and unauthorised impairment of electronic communication that occurred while he was living at Poona – near Hervey Bay – and Kingaroy.
Duffy, who now lives in Brisbane, pleaded guilty to the offences that occurred between May 2013 and March 2014 and was sentenced to jail with immediate parole.
League of Legends is an online computer game where players create an account and join a team that bands together to destroy an opposing team’s base.
In 2011, someone hacked into the database of the game’s LA-based publisher Riot Games and got hold of more than five million usernames and passwords for League of Legends.
It was not suggested Duffy was responsible for this hacking, but the court heard a copy of this database was found on his computer in 2013 and was also available on the internet.
The court heard Duffy made $32,000 from selling the usernames and passwords of online gaming accounts to other gamers.
In July 2013, Duffy and an associate he met online hacked into Riot Games and removed data from the server.
Judge Tony Moynihan said Riot Games spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure their systems.
Duffy also set up a website where players could launch attacks on their opponents’ computers using their IP address information.
Duffy’s defence barrister Patrick Wilson said doctors’ reports showed his client had a lack of understanding of how his actions impacted others.
He also said the offending happened at a low point in Duffy’s life, where he was restricted to his bedroom for a number of years and was traumatised by the death of his father.
Duffy was now socialising more and living a healthier life, the court heard.
Judge Moynihan said Duffy had no criminal history and he had taken constructive steps towards rehabilitation and reducing his risk of re-offending.
Duffy was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail and was granted immediate parole.
He must be of good behaviour for two-and-a-half years.