Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Botmaster Pleads Guilty in Los Angeles
A "botmaster" has plead guilty in Los Angeles to federal charges to creating "botnets", networks of compromised computers used to send spam across the Internet. Jeanson James Ancheta plead guilty in Los Angeles yesterday to operating a "botnet", and selling access to that botnet to hackers. Ancheta used adware and computer vulnerabilities to create a remotely controllable network of machines that could be used to send spam and which he made available to spammers and hackers. Ancheta pleased guilty to conspiring to violate the Computer Fraud Abuse Act, conspiring to violate the CAN-SPAM Act, causing damage to federal government computers, and hacking into protected computers. Ancehta had earned approximately $3000 by selling access to the collection of compromised machines to other users both for sending spam and launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on web sites. He also falsely collected around $60,000 in advertising affiliate revenue from automatic installation of adware. Ancheta faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 1.