World of Warcraft DDoS Attacker Sentenced a Year Behind Bars

Back in 2010, a Romanian World of Warcraft DDoS attacker called Calin Mateias caused WoW servers to crash. The crash prevented paying customers from gaining access, and it was linked to in-game disputes with other players. Mateias will now be serving a year-long prison sentence in a US federal court and has reportedly paid $30,000 in damages to Blizzard.

The DDoS attacks occurred between February and September of 2010, and Mateias originally was indicted for the crime in 2011 after investigations carried out by the FBI. Last year he was finally extradited to the US, where he pleaded guilty to “one count of intentional damage to a protected computer.” According to a press release published by the Department of Justice, the 38-year-old man had carried o ut the World of Warcraft DDoS attacks after he “became involved in disputes with other players for a variety of reasons, including the division of loot and membership in raid teams.”

Mateias, known online as Dr Mengele (the Nazi doctor who conducted deadly experiments on prisoners) had been “angered by a player he regularly competed against,” and became “determined to defeat his WoW opponents by interrupting the game’s server so they could not access the game,” according to a memorandum in the defense sentencing. “His actions were motivated by a juvenile desire to win the game, and for others to lose it.” Mateias has reportedly paid $30,000 in damages to Blizzard to retroactively cover the costs of defending against these World of Warcraft DDoS attacks.

As part of his agreement to plead guilty, the US government dropped separate charges against Mateias in a case of international conspiracy. Mateias and his five American co-conspirators had allegedly been involved in an attempt to steal over $10 million’s worth of computer equipment from tech distributor Ingram Micro. This operation allegedly goes back all the way to 1999, when Mateias began hacking into Ingram Micro’s online ordering system in 1999. This case seems to have been dropped for Mateias, though it remains unclear whether it still remains an active indictment for the other five men.

Mateias has been in custody since November 20 when he was extradited from Romania, which will leave him behind bars at the end of his sentence for a total of roughly one year and six months.