NEWARK, N.J. – A Georgia man today admitted his role in initiating a cyberattack known as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) against a company that maintained servers in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Tucker Preston, 22, of Macon, Georgia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of damaging protected computers by transmission of a program, code or command.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
DDoS is a type of cyberattack that purposefully directs such a large volume of superfluous traffic to a victim’s web server or other computer system that it can slow or shut down service. In or around December 2015, Preston arranged for an entity that engages in DDoS attacks to initiate attacks against a company. The entity directed DDoS attacks against the victim company, causing damage and disrupting the victim’s business.
The count to which Preston pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for May 7, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David E. Malagold of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.
Defense counsel: Ijeoma Eke Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark