In late 2008, a Pennsylvania teenager playing SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals got kicked out of a tournament for using a cheat mod. So he took revenge by crashing the PlayStation web site for 11 days.
Sony got the last laugh, however, in the form of a federal grand jury investigation, which quickly led to the perpetrator, a high school honors student in Latrobe, Pa. The hacker pleaded guilty to four felony charges in juvie court. Reports say he got access to the site's servers and let loose a virus that brought everything down.
His methods weren't described in detail but an expert contacted by a local TV station said they weren't so sophisticated that someone else couldn't pull it off. I bet Sony has stronger protections in place now, though.
The teen pleaded guilty to four counts: unlawful use of a computer, criminal use of a computer, computer trespassing and the distribution of a computer virus, in exchange for prosecutors dropping 11 others, some related to a March 2009 cyber attack.
Kudos to WTAE-TV of Pittsburgh for not only getting the name of the game (it was left out of other reports), but also using the correct console in its footage - although I'm wondering what those shots of Madden have to do with it.
Latrobe Teen Hacker Admits To Crashing Sony Game Site [WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh]