What is the point?

I was in IRC today to ask some development questions when suddenly tons of people left all at the same time. This happened a few times throughout my session. I didn't know what it was about so I just ignored it until someone mentioned that Freenode was being DDoS'd again.

What I failed to understand is why someone would organize a distributed attack on something free like Freenode or Github. I just shook my head and threw up a quick tweet to express my annoyance.

After that I went back to work not thinking much of it. That's when this happened.

Note: I was going to obfuscate his name and picture in order to avoid giving him more attention, but the Twitter account had just a few tweets and was obviously only used for the purpose of being a jerk to people who complain about their favorite sites having trouble. So he is already anonymous anyway and further attention will hopefully just result in that account being banned.

I sort of just sat there for a minute in bewilderment. Had I just met one of the people who, until now, I had only heard about? In the past I've doubted the existence of such lowly human beings, thinking that there must be a grander agenda for them. I didn't know what to say back so I asked if he was claiming responsibility.

He replied a couple more times in an attempt to rile me up but I just ended up blocking him so I could come to my blog and write this post. I was just so amazed. This guy, on the middle of a Thursday, decided to DDoS a few sites, including Wikia and Freenode. Then after doing that he sits there with a few Twitter searches open actively refreshing them, waiting with bated breath to see how many people he annoyed.

I can't decide which saddens me more; the fact that he uses his technical knowledge to act like a child or the fact that he sits there waiting to see who his childish endeavors affected so he can reply to harrass them further.

This isn't a special occasion for him either. He's been doing it for years.

I really wish I could get in the heads of people like this. I want to know what thoughts cross their mind as they prep their army of bots (infected computers) to attack something like Freenode. Do they truly derrive some weird sense of satisfaction from others' misery or is the entire thing some kind of projection of personal insecurities or ineptitude?

Whatever it is it makes me sad because the technical knowledge required to pull off these types of things could probably land them a great job (personality issues not withstanding) and/or benefit the development community.

Alas, being a sarcastic troll will always be easier than garnering attention by building amazing things that benefit the community and earning others' respect. The biggest surprise had to be discovering that people like this really do exist. I was convinced that going through all that effort had to be for more than just pissing people off, but I was proven very wrong today.