Apache Junction’s Tucker sentenced to 20 months in prison for computer attacks

 

An Apache Junction man was sentenced June 18 in Phoenix for directing distributed denial-of-service attacks at the computer networks of the city of Madison, Wisconsin, officials said.

Randall Charles Tucker, aka “Bitcoin Baron,” 23, was sentenced to serve 20 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes of the District of Arizona.

Mr. Tucker was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of  $69,331.56 to the victims of his computer attacks. Mr. Tucker pleaded guilty on April 17, 2017, to one count of intentional damage to a protected computer, according to a release.

The sentencing was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. Strange for the District of Arizona, according to the release.

According to admissions made in connection with his plea, between March 9 and March 14, 2015, Mr. Tucker executed a series of DDoS attacks against various city websites, including Madison, Wisconsin.

“A DDoS attack is a malicious attack where illegitimate network traffic is used to slow down or altogether crash a computer server, thereby denying service to legitimate users of the server,” according to the release.

In addition to disabling the city of Madison’s website, the attack crippled the city’s Internet-connected emergency communication system, causing delays and outages in the ability of emergency responders to connect to the 911 center and degrading the system used to automatically dispatch the closest unit to a medical, fire, or other emergency, according to the release.

Mr. Tucker, referring to himself as the “Bitcoin Baron,” boasted about his attacks via social media, according to the release.

The case was investigated by FBI’s Milwaukee and Phoenix Field Offices and Arizona’s Department of Public Safety.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Knapp of the District of Arizona and Trial Attorney Laura-Kate Bernstein of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin also provided substantial assistance in this manner, according to the release.

 

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