• Kyodo

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In a legal first, Tokyo police on Thursday filed charges against a Kumamoto teen who allegedly disabled a game company’s server by using distributed denial-of-service attacks.

The first-year high school student from the city admitted bringing down the server of Tokyo-based GameOn Co. on March 19 and 20, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

“I was dissatisfied with the way the game was operated,” the 16-year-old was quoted by police as saying. They also said he vowed to stay out of further trouble.

The boy used a overseas commercial website to launch the so-called DDoS attacks, which render a server or website unusable by bombarding it with requests for data. This either slows down the server or brings service to a halt.

The attack was allegedly made via a computer and a smartphone at his home.

The teen began using a paid website overseas to carry out the attacks in November last year, the police allege. They also said he confessed to attacking the servers of two other companies.

Using a rewritten Internet Protocol address, the suspect allegedly had GameOn’s server send inquiries repeatedly to Network Time Protocol servers that provide precise time information. The inquiries caused some 1,100 NTP servers in Japan and abroad to respond, overloading GameOn’s server.

The DDoS attack started at 6:40 p.m. on March 19, and GameOn’s server began to experience communication failure just seven minutes later. The company’s game service did not return to normal until around 4:10 a.m. on March 20.

The boy was a third-year junior high school student at the time.

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