An inept cyber-criminal has been given a 20-month sentence behind bars after DDoS-ing the networks of a Wisconsin city, temporarily taking out its 911 center.
Randall Charles Tucker, 23, of Apache Junction, Arizona carried out the attacks on the City of Madison in 2015 as part of a wider DDoS campaign against various cities, according to the Department of Justice.
“In addition to disabling the City of Madison’s website, the attack crippled the city’s internet-connected emergency communication system, causing delays and outages in the ability of emergency responders to connect to the 911 center and degrading the system used to automatically dispatch the closest unit to a medical, fire, or other emergency,” the noticed read.
It’s unclear what his motivation was in launching the attack, although it came just days after a fatal shooting by a Madison police officer.
Tucker’s other exploits saw him DDoS the municipal computer systems in Phoenix suburbs Chandler and Mesa and user-generated video portal News2Share, the latter in a bid to persuade it to feature one of his videos.
These charges were reportedly dropped as part of the plea deal.
Tucker boasted of his crimes on social media, dubbing himself the “Bitcoin Baron,” and has also reportedly taken part in hacktivist campaigns like Anonymous #OpSeaWorld.
However, his attempts to portray himself as a moral crusader failed miserably. In one incident in 2015 he apparently DDoS-ed the city and police websites of San Marcos in Texas — demanding a local policeman who had assaulted a female college student be jailed and fired. That cop had already been sent to prison two years previously.
Tucker also launched an attack on a children’s hospital, reportedly defacing it with child pornography, which if true somewhat undermined his hacktivist credentials.
Alongside the jail sentence, Tucker was ordered by the court to pay restitution of over $69,000 to the victims of his attacks.