Thievin' teen bot herder admits to infecting military computers
I was a teenage zombie master
A young hacker accused of helping to corral more than 400,000 computers into a money-making botnet has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in connection with the scheme, which he admits damaged US military computers.
The defendant was identified only by the the initials B.D.H. because he was a juvenile when the crimes were committed. He is better known by the handle "SoBe" in internet relay channels frequented by hackers. He appeared in US District Court in Los Angeles on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of juvenile delinquency. His plea agreement contemplates a sentence of one year to 18 months in prison.
SoBe entered the public spotlight in November 2005 as an "unindicted co-conspirator" to Jeanson James Ancheta, who eventually pleaded guilty to four felony charges in connection with the same botnet. With SoBe located in Boca Raton, Florida, and Ancheta working in Downey, California, the two built a lucrative business by surreptitiously installing adware on computers and then pocketing affiliate fees. According to court documents, the pair collected at least $58,000 in 13 months, but it's possible they made much more.
"It's immoral, but the money makes it right," Ancheta told SoBe during one online chat, according to the indictment charging Ancheta.
"I just hope this stuff lasts a while so I don't have to get a job right away," SoBe told Ancheta during a different conversation.
Among the computers infected by SoBe and Ancheta were those belonging to the Defense Information Security Agency. SoBe also claimed to have pwned machines maintained by Sandia National Laboratories.
While the two hackers weren't able to write their own malware - they made modifications to a well-known program called rxbot - they showed some skill in varying the download times and rates of the adware installations. That allowed them to evade detection by network administrators and security analysts. After collecting fees, the men used the infected computers to seek and infect new machines.
They also discussed temporarily shutting down their operations in response to enforcement actions by the FBI. In May 2006, Ancheta, who was an adult at the time of the offense, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison.
Under federal guidelines SoBe faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in custody, although juveniles can't be incarcerated beyond the age of 21. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 8. ®
Instead of teaching them a lesson, why don't teach the public to stop blindly clicking e-mails and ads that they have no idea who or where they came from. These people will be around forever as long these people keep doing this. I understand there are "bugs" in our software in which these crackers will and do exploit, that is why it is a good idea to leave automatic updates on on all OS, AV and firewall software.
I think the last time I read that a vanilla out-of-the-box Windows XP station put on the internet, it would be compromised within 15 minutes. It is probably less now. At least Microsoft is attempting, albeit loosely, to lock down the OS with a generic firewall built in. However, it doesn't matter if the public doesn't know how to use it.
While every just screams "Just go and get Linux/Unix.. and all of your problems will go away!" is sadly mistaken if you believe that to be true. Besides a sleuth of enterprise software that is currently incompatible, if it were the other way around, Linux/Unix with the market share and Microsoft without, then our problems would be mirrored. Why do they target Windows? Not because it is faulty, because it is the accessible. We in the Open Source crowd find security vulnerabilities and bugs all the time in Linux/Unix circles of distributions but, how many stories do you here of those being attacked, cracked and taken over like you do windows? Rarely, if ever, because no one is trying to exploit it. It is easy for any pimpled faced kid and any of the number of so called "Network Administrator Tools" to find a windows box scan for vulnerabilities. However, to search for those Linux/Unix boxes with that one open port that can be infected, will turn tits up. Not because people plugged the whole, because there are not many around.
Sigh, it will never end until the PUBLIC is educated. However, I don't think that grandma and grandpa could really be educated or even care. As long as they can e-mail and surf their genealogy, they could care less if unknowingly their computer compromised.
Hacker prison time
Here is a thought. Time to reinstall windows, drivers, and other crap software lets say 2 hours. (I know it is more.)
Lets just say he can work on 4 machines at a time.
250,000 X 30 minutes = 750,000 minutes
14.26 Years in Federal (Pound me in the ass) prison.
Sounds fair to me.
"Among the computers infected by SoBe and Ancheta were those belonging to the Defense Information Security Agency"
If a couple of script kiddies can infect above mentioned agency, then that agency deserves to be buggered with a whale harpoon....bloody gits....
BillG icon, cause he infects PCs with Windaz...