A 38-year-old Romanian man has been sentenced to one year in US federal prison after pleading guilty to launching a DDoS attack on a World Of Warcraft server. The charges were filed at the behest of Blizzard.

Over a game of WoW

Last year, Calin Mateias, who lived in Bucharest, found himself being extradited to the US to face federal charges over a DDoS attack that occurred in 2010. The man was playing a game of World of Warcraft and got involved in a dispute. Mateias was considered to be "motivated by a juvenile desire to win the game, and for others to lose it." In response, he launched the cyber attack against the Blizzard owned server that caused it to crash, preventing others from resuming the game.

"Angered by a player he regularly competed against, the defendant determined to defeat his WoW opponents by interrupting the game's server so they could not access the game," as officially stated in a defense sentencing memorandum.

DDoS decoded

DDoS stands for distributed-denial-of-service. A DDoS attack is a type of cyber attack aimed to disrupt the resources provided by a server or network provider over the internet, making them unavailable to end-users. This usually involves a perpetrator using various sources to send a heavy load of requests from a computer to a targeted server. The incoming artificial traffic is meant to be overbearing to the point that the server is overloaded and malfunctions.

Today, there are several ways to launch a DDoS attack, some even involving the use of specialized tools that are distributed freely over the internet. However, the methods in which Mateias used to launch the attack on the server have not been disclosed.

Crime doesn't really pay

Mateias was fined with a $30,000 in restitution to the company which he has since paid during his stay in the US.

His sentencing was issued by US District Judge Otis D. Wright II a week ago. However, Mateias' defense argues that he should be released on time served given the fact that he had spent almost that same amount of time in the US during his trial period.

These federal charges against Mateias are not his first, however. The Romanian man was also involved in a failed scheme to acquire $10 million worth of computer equipment from computer retailer Ingram Micro based in California. The charges in that previous case were eventually dropped but Mateias is once again facing repercussions from his criminal activities, without luck, this time around.