Feeds

LSDigital drops federal botnet confession

Hacker admits to hosing Rubbermaid

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.