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Criminal Charges Brought Against Teenage Hacker for DraftKings Fraud Scheme

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An 18-year-old named Joseph Garrison has recently been charged with attempting to orchestrate a large-scale fraud against DraftKings, a prominent sportsbook operator in the United States.

Garrison, along with his accomplices, successfully managed to steal $600,000 from approximately 1,600 user accounts during a series of attacks that targeted the popular sports betting platform in November 2022.

Prosecutors announced on Thursday that criminal charges have been filed against Joseph Garrison in connection with the attack on DraftKings. The young hacker and his co-conspirators meticulously carried out the cyber theft, exploiting vulnerabilities in the system and compromising the security of the platform. Their actions resulted in the unauthorized access and subsequent theft of funds from numerous user accounts.

Coincidentally, a similar attack had occurred against FanDuel, another prominent sportsbook operator, in the same month. However, FanDuel was able to withstand the assault, assuring users that their personal information and funds remained secure.

In response to the criminal charges against Garrison, DraftKings released a statement emphasizing the company's commitment to customer safety. The statement highlighted that funds stolen from affected users had been restored promptly.

We worked with law enforcement in catching the alleged bad actor(s), and we want to thank the Department of Justice, including the FBI and U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York, for their prompt and effective action.


Authorities started their pursuit of the hackers after being alerted to the attacks. In a search of Garrison's home on February 23, law enforcement officials executed a warrant and discovered multiple cell phones and computer devices.

Subsequent investigations confirmed that these devices were instrumental in carrying out the attacks and communicating with co-conspirators. The evidence collected strengthens the case against Garrison, who now faces a litany of charges.

If convicted of the various charges, including conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, unauthorized access to a protected computer to further intended fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, Garrison could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. The severity of the charges underscores the gravity of cybercrimes and serves as a deterrent to potential future offenders.

These attacks against DraftKings and FanDuel shed light on the increasing interest in the sports gambling industry in the United States. As the sector continues to expand, it becomes crucial for companies to bolster their security measures.

The breach of user accounts not only threatens customers' financial assets but also erodes trust in the platforms facilitating online sports betting. Rigorous cybersecurity protocols and regular assessments are vital to safeguard user data and maintain the integrity of the industry.

The criminal charges brought against Joseph Garrison for orchestrating a significant fraud scheme against DraftKings serve as a reminder of the pressing need for robust security measures in the sports gambling sector.

The case underscores the importance of protecting user funds and personal information to maintain public trust in online platforms. Companies must remain vigilant and invest in the continuous improvement of their cybersecurity protocols to mitigate the risk of future attacks. As the industry grows, proactive measures become imperative to ensure a safe and secure gambling environment for users across the United States.

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