A Pennsylvania teen today confessed in court that he injected a virus into Sony's online gaming Web site. The 17-year-old boy, whose name was not released because he is a minor, will face sentencing for the misdemeanor.
From November 16, 2008 through November 26, 2008, Playstation.com repeatedly crashed due to the internal virus. An FBI task force investigated the incident and it led them to Greensburg, PA to the home of an high school honor student.
The boy was charged with four felony offenses, to which he pleaded "delinquent," the juveline court equivalent of guilty. There had been brief discussions about treating him as an adult in court.
The case was a criminal matter and Sony has not announced any plans to go after the prankster, who is an honor student at his high school, in civil court. According to an Associated Press report, Sony banned the boy's Playstation Network account after he was caught cheating in a game of Socom: US Navy Seals. The boy retaliated by crashing Playstation.com's servers.
The judge in the case, John Driscoll, reportedly said, "I see a young kid here who is learning how to use computer viruses. I don't want to unleash some future virus spreader out there." He called gaming "addictive, like sex, drugs, alcohol and caffeine."
The defendant was allowed to go home after the hearing, but he still awaits sentencing at a later date.