'Mafiaboy' to plead guilty to hacking major Web sites

By Linda Rosencrance, Computer World |  Business

The 16-year-old Montreal-area high-school student known as Mafiaboy has agreed to plead guilty to a series of attacks on major Internet sites including CNN.com, Yahoo.com Inc., Amazon.com Inc., eBay.com Inc., Dell.com and others in February, according to prosecutor Louis Miville-Deschenes.

At a court appearance yesterday in the juvenile section of the Montreal-based Court of Quebec, Miville-Deschenes said the youth had agreed to plead guilty to most of the 66 charges that he faces.

"That's what his attorneys said," Miville-Deschenes said.

A sentencing hearing was set for Dec. 8. The teenager could face up to two years in prison and a fine of $1,000 Canadian dollars (approximately U.S.$650), the prosecutor said.

The teenager, who wasn't named because of his age, was arrested in April and charged with two counts of "mischief to data" in connection with denial-of-service computer attacks against CNN's Web site and more than 1,200 sites that CNN hosts. The attacks happened between Feb. 7 and 14. The boy allegedly pulled together a series of computers and used them to send vast amounts of data to the CNN site, causing the system to fail.

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