A Hong Kong man has been sentenced to nine months in jail after taking down the Hong Kong Stock Exchange website in a misguided attempt to market his company's anti-DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack software.
Tse Man-lai, 28, was convicted earlier this year of attacking the Exchange's official website, HKExnews, on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13, 2011, days after two unrelated DDoS attacks shuttered the site and forced trading suspensions in seven banks, including HSBC.
After the attack, Tse, the owner of Pacswitch Globe Telecom, took to an online forum to blast HKExnews' security and offer up his own product as the solution. Instead of a wave of new contracts, however, the young entrepreneur's scheme brought him the ire of law enforcement.
At least one former lawmaker disagreed with the sentence, the Register reported. Samson Tan, the ex-Hong Kong legislative council member, went as far as to write in Tse's defense, saying that despite his willful breaking of the law, his actions "advanced" the technology industry by shining a spotlight onto the Exchange's security weaknesses.
Although Tse's DDoS attacks illustrated a serious problem, they lasted for less than 10 minutes combined; just long enough for Tse to make a record of his stunt, the South China Morning Post reported.
A senior inspector at the Commercial Crime Bureau told the Post that Tse's sentence "sent a clear message to the public that the Internet is not a lawless territory."
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