The Mafiaboy Book is due soon, and in it he (real name: Michael Calce) tells all about how he got into online disruptions and massive attacks. On the one hand it’s easy to smirk about his sophistication in relation to what was going on in 1999. On the other, it’s sobering to think that a budding electronic commerce segment was crippled for days by this kid. An excerpt from the website:
I logged back on and began paying closer attention. I realized it was a common occurrence and that it was called punting. Someone knocked me offline by hitting me with so much data that my connection was severed. These punters seemed to have a huge amount of power over others on AOL. I was intrigued that an individual was able to “attack” someone else, regardless of the distance between them, using the internet. It seemed like harmless fun, almost a practical joke. The people punted off could simply sign on again and rejoin the chat room. Nobody got hurt.
I wanted to punt someone. Badly.
The scene, in this regard, hasn’t changed much. The stakes are higher now, however, as these guys have often gotten into credit card theft and outright fraud.