TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Man Gets Three Years in Prison for 'Botnet' Attack on Computers

Man Gets Three Years in Prison for 'Botnet' Attack on Computers

Associated Press News Wire (
Sat, 26 Aug 2006 14:23:48 -0500

A man was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for launching a
computer attack that hit tens of thousands of computers, including
some belonging to the Department of Defense, a Seattle hospital and a
California school district.

Christopher Maxwell, 21, of Vacaville, Calif., was also sentenced to
three years of supervised release when his prison sentence is
finished. He pleaded guilty in May to federal charges of conspiracy to
intentionally cause damage to a protected computer and conspiracy to
commit computer fraud.

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman said the crime showed "incredible
self-centeredness" with little regard for the impact on others. She said
the prison time was needed as "deterrence for all those youth out there
who are squirreled away in their basements hacking. "

Defense attorney Steve Bauer had sought probation and community service,
noting his client had no prior criminal record and saying Maxwell did
not intend his robot virus program to spread as far as it did.

Maxwell and two juvenile co-conspirators were accused of using "botnet"
attacks -- programs that let hackers infect and control a computer
network -- to install unwanted Internet advertising software, a job that
earned them about $100,000.

Three victims testified at Maxwell's sentencing: a representative of
Seattle's Northwest Hospital, damaged in February 2005; a
representative of the U.S. Defense Department, which reported damage
to hundreds of computers worldwide in 2004 and 2005; and a former
system administrator for the Colton Unified School District in
California, where more than 1,000 computers were damaged over several
months in 2005.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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