Feeds

LSDigital drops federal botnet confession

Hacker admits to hosing Rubbermaid

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A US-based hacker has admitted he reaped thousands of dollars by breaking into corporate computers in Europe and making them part of a botnet that automatically installed adware.

Robert Matthew Bentley, 21, of Panama City, Florida, pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to his botnet activities, which took place over a 13-month period starting in October, 2005, according to documents filed in a federal court in Florida. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. His sentence hearing is scheduled for May 28.

He sometimes went by the online moniker LSDigital.

Federal prosecutors commenced their case in December, 2006, after the London Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit fielded a complaint from European representatives of Newell Rubbermaid. Bentley and several unnamed co-conspirators installed customized bots on hundreds of the company's computers. The malware generated so much traffic on the company's servers that network shares stopped functioning.

New infections are still being detected, prosecutors claimed in a document filed last week. Newell Rubbermaid has so far sustained at least $150,000 worth of damage trying to contain the intrusion.

An indictment alleged that Bentley and his cronies generated "thousands of dollars" from their botnets. According to court papers signed last week by Bentley, he had applied for an account with DollarRevenue.com, which "pays others for, among other things, the unauthorized intrusion and placement of adware on to vulnerable computers."

The bot masters, at least one of whom was located in Philadelphia, used the domain name smokedro.com as a command and control channel. They breached Newell Rubbermaid using at least three malicious files bearing the names 84785_redworld[1].exe, mssecure.exe and msiupdate.exe.

Under terms agreed to in the plea agreement, Bentley may qualify for "the granting of relief" if he provides "substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of other persons who have committed offenses."

The prosecution was part of Operation Bot Roast, an FBI initiative designed to crack down on botnets. It was the result of a multi-year investigation that also involved authorities in Finland and Paris and assistance from the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.