A computer hacker said he was "surprised" when a dozen police officers arrested him in a house raid late last year.
Daniel Drysdale, 31, of Goulburn, had crashed 36 internet connections to try to beat other players in an online game.
"I was surprised," is how he described the moment to his solicitor ahead of his appearance in Goulburn Local Court on March 13.
Drysdale had apparently taught himself how to hack into other people's internet systems by watching instructional videos on the subject.
On 47 occasions, he crashed the internet service of various households for up to 10 minutes at a time.
The offence of impairing electronic communications carries a maximum 10-year jail sentence.
Police facts tendered in court defined the repeated “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) as cyber attacks to make a machine or network unavailable by flooding it with superfluous internet traffic.
There are many online providers with monthly subscriptions to use their DDoS capability, available to the general public.
On October 31, 2017, Drysdale started using one to carry out repeated cyber attacks.
Over three days to November 2, 2017, he perpetrated 33 acts of DDoS on 24 unique IP addresses, impairing the ability of each to communicate electronically via the internet.
Between January 4 and January 29, 2018, Drysdale carried out a further 14 cyber attacks on 12 unique IP addresses.
Australian Federal and NSW police officers executed a search warrant at Drysdale's home on November 22, 2018 at 7.50am.
He was arrested and taken to Goulburn Police Station where he made full admissions during an electronic interview with officers to using a subscription DDoS capability to attack rival online gamers.
He told police he first identified the IP addresses of his rivals by using on online program called a "sniffer".
He then used the subscription DDoS capability to shut down their internet services for about 10 minutes at a time, he said.
In court, Drysdale pleaded guilty to a charge of impairing electronic communications to and from a computer.
His solicitor, Sam Rowland, said it was not a charge that often came before the courts.
A number of legal issues had needed to be considered prior to entering the plea, Mr Rowland said.
These issues included legally defining a computer and cyber space, but also considering the jurisdiction of the NSW Parliament to legislate an offence in cyber space.
"Cyber space knows no state nor national borders,” Mr Rowland said.
“Ultimately I considered the Australia Act 1986, which gives the Parliament an ability to pass extra-territorial laws, which could encompass cyber crime related matters.”
The offence could be described as transient and trifling, he said.
His client had shown remorse and embarrassment and the police raid on his home had "achieved an element of specific deterrence".
Mr Rowland asked that a conviction not be recorded against his client.
But Magistrate Geraldine Beattie was not impressed with Drysdale's hacking abilities.
"Your behaviour was not game-like. It was cheating," Ms Beattie said.
"What you did affected a lot of people because when you took down their internet service, you affected everyone in that household.
"It is a serious offence that carries a maximum 10-year jail sentence."
Ms Beattie convicted Drysdale and placed him on a Community Corrections Order (good behaviour bond) for 15 months.
Journalist at the Goulburn Post
Journalist at the Goulburn Post
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.