November 17, 2023 3 min read


Hacker Accused of Stealing from DraftKings Customers Pleads Guilty

The 18-year-old who has been charged with stealing more than $600,000 from over 1,000 DraftKings customers has pleaded guilty

A person identified with the initials J.G., an 18-year-old hacker from Wisconsin, who allegedly stole over $600,000 from DraftKings giant by hacking into the online accounts of more than 1,000 registered players, has pleaded guilty to the charges brought to him.

J.G. allegedly stole the login and password information of over 1,600 DraftKings members and used the information to hack into over 60,000 accounts on the online sports betting platform in November 2022

“Fraud Is Fun”

As per information from federal prosecutors in Manhattan, the teenager has been accused of sending the stolen login information to other individuals who then made use of it to withdraw over $600,000 from around 1,600 accounts. 

The procedure, which is referred to as credential stuffing, was openly admitted by the 18-year-old who attempted to take cash out of other players’ accounts in an illegal manner. He transparently texted one of his co-conspirators saying “Fraud is fun,” according to official court documents, adding that he was “addicted to seeing money” in his account.

When investigators searched his home in February 2023, they allegedly discovered a series of programs that the teenager had used in credential stuffing.

The young man had apparently used more than 700 individualized files to set up a website used to launch the cyber-attacks on his computer. The device contained around 40 million password and username combinations, according to law enforcement representatives. 

DraftKings Says It Reimbursed All the Stolen Money

The investigation also found that the hacker had stolen more than $2.1 million prior to his 18th birthday, making around $15,000 per day between 2018 and 2021 alone.

He pled guilty to a count of conspiring to commit computer intrusion. The charge features a five-year in-prison maximum sentence. The alleged hacker will be sentenced at a later date. 

His case is prosecuted by the Southern District of New York’s Frauds and Cybercrime Unit

The prosecution is represented by assistant US attorneys Kevin Mead and Micah Fergenson.

The company has confirmed the hacking event but did not provide any names in the suit. 

DraftKings also reimbursed all the stolen money from customers, using a statement issued by a spokesperson to explain the safety and security of the personal and financial information of their customers “is of paramount importance” to them.  

The hacker was also charged with alleged swatting, which is the process of practice of making a hoax call to the emergency services. It is believed that the teenager paid people with Bitcoin to make fake bomb-threat phone calls to his high school because he was “bored” and eager to go home, according to court documents. 

Earlier in the week, DraftKings unveiled its new Progressive Parlay feature that will target the fantasy gaming market in an attempt to push back against the growing popularity of competing fantasy sports operators.

The news follows the operator’s launch during Maine’s first weekend of regulated sports betting via a partnership with Passamaquoddy Tribe and the publishing of its Q3 results showcasing strong performance

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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