Feeds

Face of Mankind DoS teen perp reprimanded

Stupid boy

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A UK teenager who admitted launching a denial of service attack on online multiplayer game Face Of Mankind has been reprimanded by police.

The 16-year-old, who can't be named for legal reasons, launched the relatively unsophisticated SYN Flood attack throughout May 2007. As a result, Face Of Mankind's portal was regularly unavailable during the assault.

A police investigation led by Scotland Yard's Computer Crime Unit led to the arrest of the computer studies student in London in October 2007. He admitted responsibility, stating that he and his friends launched the attack after deciding to "take down" the forum over dissatisfaction about the way it was been run. The teenagers co-ordinated their attack on MSN instant messenger.

During the attacks, the teenager logged into the forum and switched over to "invisible" mode, naively thinking this would hide his actions from the site's administrator. These actions led to his undoing, allowing technicians from network analysis and forensics firm Synerity Systems to track down his location in the UK, prior to handing over the case the detectives from Scotland Yard. Synerity Systems was hired by game publishers Ojom to look into the attacks.

Jasper Bongertz explained that the bulletin boards affected by the attack played an integral part of the game: "The bulletin boards were flooded with requests for pages, causing them to go down.

"After we placed a sniffer in front of the servers we found that the attack were coming from one single IP. The same IP was included in the user list for the bulletin board, which gave us an email address. The suspect email address was tied to a subscription to the game which gave us a name and address.

"The attacker was pretty stupid," Bongertz added.

Before it introduced subscription Face Of Mankind boasted 10,000 users. At the time of the attacks it had about 1,500 users. The assaults made the game virtually unplayable and its user base drifted away. Ojom, the publisher of the game, has since taken it down in the face of further assaults which proved more difficult to track down.

"The later attacks were by more professional people using botnets. Finally the game was stopped because those attacks cost money," Bongertz told El Reg. Developers are trying to resurrect the game.

Face Of Mankind's portal is based in Germany. The teenager involved in the attack was read the riot act by police on 24 December but details of the assault, and how he was tracked down, have only just emerged. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.