'Bitcoin Baron' Gets 20 Months in Prison for DDoS Attack That 'Crippled' Emergency Communications

By Sidney Fussell on at

A man in the US state of Arizona who once styled himself as a hacktivist “Bitcoin Baron” has been sentenced to prison for a distributed denial-of-service attack against the city of Madison's computer networks in the state of Wiscomsin. According to the US Department of Justice, the attack “crippled” the city’s emergency communication system, causing “delays and outages in the ability of emergency responders to connect to the 911 centre.”

Randall Charles Tucker was sentenced to 20 months in prison on Tuesday following a guilty plea to one count of intentional damage to a protected computer. Tucker admitted to launching several DDoS attacks in 2015 against city websites, including Madison. The Justice Department says Tucker boasted about the attacks on social media, where he called himself “Bitcoin Baron.”

The Madison incident isn’t the only DDoS attack attributed to Tucker. The Observer reports the Bitcoin Baron claimed responsibility for a variety of online attacks against wide-ranging targets, including an Oklahoma police department, IRC chat rooms and a children’s hospital. In one chat transcript obtained by the paper, Bitcoin Baron complained that members of Anonymous “keep stealing my credit” after the Madison attack was attributed to the group.

In the end, it seems Twitter beef is what brought the self-proclaimed baron down. After a six-month investigation into cyberattacks on Arizona government systems, the state’s Department of Public Safety say they found tweets from other hackers that referred to the Bitcoin Baron as Randy Tucker and said he had “no skill.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Tucker has been ordered to pay $69,331.56 (£52,305.81) in restitution to the victims of his attacks. [Engadget]


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