Two Individuals Indicted in DraftKings Cyberattack Case

Notably, two individuals from Farmington, Minnesota, Nathan Austad, 19, and Kamerin Stokes, 21, of Memphis, Tennessee, have been charged for their purported involvement in the DraftKings cyberattack that occurred in November 2022. Both of the accused are charged with selling sensitive information, abusing their position as operators and harming their customers by utilizing unlawfully obtained data for personal benefit. A guilty plea has already been made by Joseph Garrison, a third co-conspirator.

Arrested on January 29, Austad and Stokes now face a barrage of charges, including conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, unauthorized access to a computer, wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and aggravated identity fraud. If convicted, the duo could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. The cyberattack they are implicated in targeted around 60,000 DraftKings accounts, exploiting vulnerabilities through various data breaches.

Equipped with copious evidence, the FBI has emphasized the seriousness of the accusations. The perpetrators utilized various tactics, such creating new payment methods, to embezzle money from the accounts of the victims. In a dark twist, they began to sell access to the hacked accounts in bulk via unofficial channels, some of which they themselves owned. One of the three evildoers, Stokes, bought a lot of accounts from Garrison for more than $125,000 and then sold them to customers via his web store.

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The FBI’s investigation gained traction when Stokes promoted the compromised accounts on his shop through Instagram. Authorities also highlighted Austad’s use of artificial intelligence image generation tools to craft promotional images for his shop of stolen user accounts. Austad further managed cryptocurrency wallets that accumulated approximately $465,000 from proceeds generated through credential-stuffing attacks and the sale of compromised data.

A key member of the hacking squad named Joseph Garrison was previously charged in May 2023 for his involvement in the plan. Garrison, who entered a guilty plea in November, will be sentenced on February 1. It is anticipated that the crooks have taken nearly $600,000 from 1,600 victim accounts in total.

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DraftKings has acted quickly, returning any pilfered money to impacted clients. The operator has put strong safeguards in place to fend off any future assaults and stresses how important it is to protect clients’ financial and personal information. Cyberattacks, however, endanger a company’s reputation in addition to its finances.

Businesses, particularly those in the gaming industry, need to be alert and flexible in order to protect financial stability as cyberattacks become more complex.


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