July 14, 2004 10:51 AM PDT
British teen spams former bosses, gets arrested
An aggrieved British teenager, fired from his $223-per-week job, has taken revenge on his former bosses by bombarding them with 5 million e-mails, effectively crippling their Web site.
The spam-happy youngster was let go for failing to complete his time sheet. Feeling wronged, he decided to launch a denial-of-service attack against his former employer, U.K. insurers Domestic & General Group.
The spam attack brought the company's servers to their knees, took down the corporate Web site and cost an estimated $33,422, or 18,000 pounds, in lost business--which would have taken the teen almost three years to earn at his former wage.
The angry youth has admitted to using a spam tool he downloaded from the Internet that's capable of sending 100 e-mails every second, according to The Sun.
According to the newspaper, he claimed that the e-mails were harmless and contained nothing more offensive or damaging than "classic lines" from several movies--while clearly choosing not to revisit the fact that he sent a server-crippling 5 million of them.
However, while he may well have been delighted with the chaos he caused, the adolescent may have been less thrilled when the Metropolitan Police Service's computer crime unit came knocking on his door.
He now faces six months in prison or a fine of up to $9,283.
The youngster has complained of unlawful arrest to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Will Sturgeon of Silicon.com reported from London.