A teenager in Japan has been charged with obstruction of justice for having launched DDoS attacks on 444 school websites. On 11 May, police in Osaka filed charges against a 16-year-old, who allegedly shut down the Osaka Board of Education's servers, which control the websites of 444 elementary, junior high and high schools in the city.
The cyberattacks, considered to have made history in Japan for having targeted a local governmental organisation, took place in November 2015, when the student hacker was still in junior high. According to the local police, the boy's motive was driven by the circumstances of his own schooling environment and the cyberattack was meant to teach the educators a lesson.
The teenage hacker told the police that he wanted to join the hacktivist group Anonymous, which off late has been in the news with its varied cyber-operations among several different international targets. When asked why he hacked the websites, the boy said: "I hate how the teachers talk down to us and never let us express ourselves. So, I thought I would remind them of their own incompetence. It felt good to see them have problems. I did it several times," the Japan Times reported.
The teen hacker is believed to have crippled the servers of the local school board by downloading a software tool, which then sent out massive volumes of data to the servers, which in turn made accessing the websites impossible for a length of time. He then went on to confirm the success of his hack by monitoring the accessibility of the websites on his smartphone.
Ironically, however, the teenager appeared to be unaware of the far-reaching consequences of his attack. The boy claimed to have been unaware of the fact that the cyberattack would also affect schools other than his own. The local police have seized the schoolboy's computer and several books on hacking.
Japanese law punishes such crimes with a maximum of a three-year prison term or a fine of ¥500,000 (£3204, $4,598). However, given that the perpetrator is a minor and the number of people affected by the attack has been fairly limited, it is likely that the teenager will not be penalised to the full extent of the law.