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Mafiaboy given eight months

Hailed by lawyers as 'strong message' to hackers

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Teenage hacker Mafiaboy has been sentenced to eight months in a youth detention centre. Lawyers have called it a "strong message" to the hacking community. But then they would.

Mafiaboy - a 17-year-old from Montreal, Canada - committed a crime when he knackered Internet sites including eBay, Yahoo and Buy.com, said the judge. He also sent DDoS attacks to Dell, Amazon, CNN and AOL Time Warner. The cost of all this has been put at £1.1 billion.

Mafiaboy - who can't be named for legal reasons - pleaded guilty to 56 charges of "mischief to data" in January (he was arrested in March 2000). Judge Giles Ouellet also gave the teenager one year of probation to follow on from the eight months and fined him £110. Friends and family will be allowed to visit him while at the centre.

The prosecutor said: "We think it is a reasonable ruling. It sends a strong message to hackers that they will get caught if they do things like that." The defence lawyer, unsurprisingly, claimed that detention was a step too far.

Both of them are wrong - as if often the case with lawyers - since many were expecting Mafiaboy to be given two years. And, of course, it won't have the slightest effect on other hackers because this sort of thing has being going on for years. Still, the prosecutor had to say something. ®

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