A hacker in the US has been sentenced to two years in prison for planning a DDoS attack on thousands of news websites that ran had run a story on his personal life.

Bruce Raisley, 48, was found guilty in September 2010 of unleashing a virus used to build a 100,000 PC botnet in order to launch the attacks against a wide range of US sites, including Rolling Stone magazine, Nettica, Radar and the Rick Ross Institute.

Raisley had reportedly been angered by a story that mentioned his chatroom romance with a woman called 'Holly', who turned out to be a fake identity created by a former associate, Xavier Von Erck, in order to humiliate him with subsequent publicity. Raisley left his then wife before the con was realised.

Von Erck is the founder of the Perverted Justice Foundation, a controversial group that tries to expose online paedophiles. The group, which collaborated on the NBC show, To Catch a Predator, was supported by Raisley before he fell out with Von Erck.

Why such a risky attack on high-profile websites seemed like an effective way of blocking the story is still a mystery.

"I was wrong for putting that thing out there," Raisley reportedly said during the sentencing hearing. "I'm sorry. I didn't see any other choice."

The relatively lenient two-year sentence may reflect the view that Raisley was suffering mental distress at the time of the events although he was also fined just over $90,000 (£55,000) by the New Jersey court.

Such attacks usually have revenge as a theme, including one from recent weeks in which a formed admin at Gucci launched a cyberattack against the company for firing him. Raisley's DDoS looks more like a misplaced attempt to create a diversion.