An El Segundo, CA, man got 26 months in federal prison after being found guilty of conducting multiple distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) cyber attacks against the Cloudy Nights astronomy forum in August 2016.
David Chesley Goodyear “instigated a DDoS cyber attack, in which the perpetrator floods the victim’s computer with useless information from botnets — large clusters of connected devices infected with malware and controlled remotely — and prevents access by legitimate users,” said officials at the Department of Justice (DoJ).
Goodyear instigated the DDoS attacks against two of the websites owned by Oklahoma’s telescope retailer Astronomics in August 2016, said Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a post.
Goodyear also coordinated recurring cyberattacks against thevv Cloudy Nights free astronomy forum starting August 9 until the end of the month following the ban of multiple users he had registered on the website.
The online community’s moderators blocked the “JamesSober” alias on August 9, initially used by Goodyear to access the website.
After that, Goodyear then posted messages on Cloudy Nights under a new alias, “HawaiiAPUser,” including pornography and profanity directed at Astronomics and the volunteer administrators and moderators of Cloudy Nights, DoJ officials said.
In the new messages posted on the online forum, the Californian threatened to talk to some of his contacts to launch DDoS attacks against Astronomics and Cloudy Nights.
His threats came to fruition the same night and were carried on irregularly until he was interviewed by law enforcement at the end of August 2016.
Goodyear was sentenced to 26 months behind bars in the federal Bureau of Prisons with three years of supervised release after getting out of jail.
Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton also ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine and $27,352.51 to cover Astronomics’ mitigation costs and lost profits.