TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: 'Bostmaster' Gets Five Years in Prison

'Bostmaster' Gets Five Years in Prison

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 8 May 2006 20:43:04 -0500

A 20-year-old who prosecutors say highjacked computers to damage
computer networks and send waves of spam across the Internet was
sentenced on Monday to nearly five years in prison.

Jeanson James Ancheta, a well-known member of the "Botmaster
Underground" who pleaded guilty in January to federal charges of
conspiracy, fraud and damaging U.S. government computers, was given
the longest sentence for spreading computer viruses, federal
prosecutors said.

He was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised
release by U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner, who also ordered him to
pay $15,000 in restitution to the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center in
China Lake, California, and forfeit to the government some $60,000 to
pay its expenses in his prosecution.

"Your worst enemy is your own intellectual arrogance that somehow the
world cannot touch you on this," Klausner said in sentencing Ancheta.

Ancheta was accused in the original 17-count indictment of hijacking some
500,000 computers using "bots," or programs that surreptitiously install
themselves on computers so they can be controlled by a hacker.

A bot net is a network of such robot, or "zombie," computers, which
can harness their collective power to do considerable damage or send
out huge amounts of junk e-mail.

Prosecutors say the case was unique because Ancheta was accused of
profiting from his attacks by selling access to his "bot nets" to
other hackers and planting adware, software that causes advertisements
to pop up, into infected computers.

In entering the guilty pleas, Ancheta admitted using computer servers
he controlled to transmit malicious code over the Web to scan for and
exploit vulnerable computers, which he then controlled as "zombie"
machines. He is expected to surrender to the United States Marshall
later today.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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