Australian who stole League of Legends player data avoids jail time

Queensland teenager Shane Duffy, who hacked and sold the private information of League of Legends players, has avoided jail time earlier today and been granted immediate parole.

23 year-old Shane Duffy pleaded guilty to fraud and computer hacking in a Brisbane District court earlier today, but avoided any jail time. Judge Tony Moynihan described to the court that the accused’s actions were “very serious” and the described the crime as one that “potentially affects many people, can cause great loss and is difficult to detect, investigate or prosecute.”

Duffy capitalised on Riot Games biggest breach to date that took place in 2011 and saw more than 5 million user’s details fall into hacker’s hands. Duffy’s offences took place between May 2013 and March of 2014, where he made 194 individual transactions selling players IP addresses for a total of $32,000.

Prosecutor Joshua Hanna told the court that Duffy was not originally involved in the attacks on Riot Games in 2011 which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result, but had instead got a copy of the stolen data online and used it to make a profit.

Duffy managed to hack into the Twitter account of Riot Games President Marc Merrill in order to advertise his business to potential buyers. Duffy also teamed up with an online associate to DOS (Denial of Service) attack other players in game. On top of his fraud and hacking charges Duffy additionally sent threatening emails to the US based Riot Games.

Duffy was originally arrested in raid back in 2014 after Australian federal police were tipped-off by the FBI. The arrest came after a six-month long investigation and ended in a raid where local Police seized computers, hard drives, magnetic strip cards and a card reader.

Duffy’s avoidance from jail time and immediate parole may be due to his mental illness, lack of education, and the sudden shock death of his father. Duffy’s mother stated his Aspergus syndrome halted him from attending school since the 4th grade “because the education system did not want him,” disputing his criminal intent. She did however admit that her son’s computer skills did make him “capable” of the crime.

Duffy’s defence lawyer Patrick Wilson told the court that “his mother was fearful of having him medicated” and that “he is an offender who has less moral culpability.”

“Your offending was sophisticated, committed over a lengthy period of time,” Judge Moynihan said, acknowledging that Duffys acts were thought out regardless of his mental state.

Despite this Judge Moynihan sentenced the 23 year-old to two and a half years in jail, with immediate parole. He was also handed an 18-month suspended jail term for Commonwealth offences and placed on a two and a half year good behaviour bond.

Source: ABC News

Brad Weston a.k.a Westy - League of Legends contributor.

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