Dejabooter’s teen developer who crashed 200,000 websites with his software says he made it for earning money
The British teenager who made $70,000 (£50,000) from his bedroom by selling software that was used to crash more than 200,000 websites around the world has been convicted of hacking offences. Worcestershire native Grant Manser was convicted on 10 counts and sentenced to two years in juvenile detention, suspended for 18 months.
Manser who is now a 20-year old, started developing and selling the software at the age of 16. He was arrested in November 2014 for going on a website crashing spree using his software.
Manser allegedly sold website-crashing software to around 4,000 customers who used it to carry out attacks on 224,548 targets from around the world, which included businesses, schools, colleges and government departments from Poland, France, the United States and the Netherlands, to name a few.
Manser got fame for his website crashing spree as a hacker but his lawyers insisted he isn’t a hacker and that he developed the programs purely to earn money.
“He is not a hacker. The system doesn’t take or hack any information from the websites being attacked,” said Jamie Baxter, the defence lawyer in the case. “He was only 16 when he started to do this and it was his immaturity and naivety which led him to commit these offences.”
Manser developed software that was then sold to his customers. Manser developed four tools called ‘stressers’ which could launch multi level Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the intended target. One of the targeted sites belonged to Harrogate and Hull College, whose system crashed for 14 hours. The buyer of stresser in this particular case was a student at the school who was unhappy to be in detention, it was revealed in court.
The programs, called Dejabooter, Vex-Stresser, netspoof and Refinedstresser, were sold on the dark web for as little as $7 to $30. Manser took payment through PayPal and was thought to have made £50,000 total from his stressers.
Manser was convicted in Birmingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to six charges under the Computer Misuse Act and four under the Serious Crime Act. He’ll serve an 18 month suspended sentence, as well 100 hours unpaid work and an £800 fine.
The judge described Manser as “young and naive”.