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Botnet herder jailed over hospital attack

Hacker gets three years for adware assault

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A California man has been jailed for three years and one month over a botnet attack that floored tens of thousands of computers including systems at a Seattle hospital, a California school district, and US Department of Defence machines.

Christopher Maxwell, 21, of Vacaville, California, was also sentenced to three years probation at a sentencing hearing last week after earlier pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and sabotage offences, AP reports.

Defense attorney Steve Bauer sought probation for Maxwell by arguing that he never intended to cause the chaos he created. US District Judge Marsha J Pechman was unmoved by these arguments and said Maxwell ought to go to jail as "deterrence for all those youth out there who are squirreled away in their basements hacking".

Maxwell and two juvenile co-conspirators made an estimated $100,000 installing intrusive adware programs on compromised machines infected by other forms of malware. ®

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