Pokemon GO is no stranger to server problems and outages, including those as a result of DDoS attacks. But now, it has been reported that one notorious Pokemon GO hacker has been punished for his role in trying to take the game down.
A 21-year-old Pokemon GO hacker named Alex Bessell has now been jailed for two years in the UK. Bessell set up a network of 9,000 so-called zombie computers. Using this network, which has been described as “persistent, determined and sophisticated” by a judge, Bessell was able to take down major companies from the comfort of his bedroom. Search engine Google, message and VOIP service Skype, and Pokemon GO were just some of the targets of Bessell’s DDoS attacks.
Birmingham Crown Court also heard that the Pokemon GO hacker made over half a million dollars from his website Aiobuy. This website reached over 35,000 customers by selling 9,000 different malicious software products, including viruses, remote administration tools, botnet tools, and more.
Bessell also made his money by gaining access to data such as usernames and passwords in order to commit fraud, and the hacker also admitted to working with others to build a hacking tool as well as being involved in money-laundering. The hacker admitted to 10 offenses in total.
Pokemon GO is quite capable of going offline by itself. Most notably, huge interest in the game during Pokemon GO Fest caused mass disruption to the event and led developer Niantic to make an apology. But in this case, a hacker is the one to blame and fans will be glad to see that Bessell has been brought to justice. The popularity of the game may have made Pokemon GO a prime target for hackers, but that’s no excuse for spoiling other people’s fun.
Fans of Pokemon GO and other games that require online connections and stable servers will also be hoping that this dissuades other hackers from doing the same. Over the last few years, DDoS attacks have caused significant frustrating, including the infamous PSN and Xbox Live outages that led to two arrests.
The authorities have made it clear that hacking and DDoS attacks will not be tolerated and come with (potentially lengthy) jailtime. It’s unclear at this point whether the prosecution of Bessell and other hackers will be a strong enough deterrent in future, but everyone who enjoys online, connected games will certainly hope so.
Pokemon GO is available now for Android and iOS devices.