Thursday, March 5, 2009
Mahalo Employee Goes To Jail For Botnet Hacking
High profile entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, CEO of Los Angeles-based Mahalo, emailed an impassioned note to his mailing list Thursday, which he also posted to his personal blog, detailing how one of the firm's employees has just been sentenced to 48 months in jail for computer hacking. According to the FBI indictment, the employee, John Schiefer, infected 250,000 computers with malware to create a "botnet"--a network of hacked computers used to steal account data. Schiefer--who went by the alias "acidstorm"--used adware to implant malware on computers, to steal Paypal account information and siphon that money off to purchase domain names. Calacanis said that Mahalo has a "rigorous" hiring process, but that the firm failed to do a "simple Google search" which would have revealed the fact that Schiefer had been convicted of hacking. Calacanis said that the firm hope to "offer him a job" when Schiefer finishes his sentence. Schiefer had been nabbed by the FBI in 2007 as part of a larger sting, called "Operation Bot Roast II", which also snagged seven other defendants. Schiefer was sentenced Wednesday in a Los Angeles federal court.