British authorities have charged David Gerrard Buchanan, 18, of Vann Road, Haslemere, Surrey, with carrying out DDoS attacks, hacking and two swatting attacks on the Mumsnet network.
The charges relate to a series of cyber-incidents from the summer of 2015, targeting Mumsnet, a social network for UK-based parents, with millions of users.
UK Metropolitan Police charged Buchanan with two counts of section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and one count under section 3.
Buchanan hacked and then DDoSed the Mumsnet portal
Buchanan’s crimes relate to a series of incidents that started in August 2015, when the suspect supposedly took over the Mumsnet server and redirected it to the @DadSecurity Twitter account. Authorities say that Buchanan was in control of the Twitter account and that he was the one who redirected Mumsnet’s traffic to that account.
Officials also blame the suspect for a series of DDoS attacks that hit the website following the initial hack and caused prolonged periods of downtime.
At the time, a few users also reported that someone had logged into their accounts and edited some of their posts.
Following the incident, Mumsnet reset passwords for all of its 7.7 million users as a measure of precaution against future problems.
Buchanan may also be the one who ordered two swatting attacks
In the aftermath of the cyber-attacks, it is believed the hacker went a step further by arranging two police SWAT teams raid the house of Mumsnet owner and one of the users who criticized the attacker in one of the site’s forum posts.
These types of incidents are called swatting, and while some consider them as innocent pranks, victims do risk getting shot by an itchy-trigger policeman. Until now, police has never charged anyone for the swatting incidents.
Following the initial attacks, the UK Metropolitan Police brought in three teens for questioning.on its website, investigators said they ruled out the other two suspects, both 17-year-old teenagers.