Feeds

Hacker behind P2P botnet gets no jail time

Turns to good after spawning Nugache

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A hacker who confessed he created one of the world's first botnets to use peer-to-peer technology won't spend any time in prison because of the assistance he's provided to prosecutors.

Jason Michael Milmont, 20, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, was sentenced on Tuesday to five years of supervised probation and a year of home confinement. US District Judge William Downes of Casper, Wyoming also ordered him to pay almost $37,000 in restitution. The relatively lenient sentence - he faced a maximum five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine - came in exchange for help he's provided prosecutors since pleading guilty.

"This young man has quite a bit of talent and we asked that he turn that talent toward good," said John Powell, a spokesman for the US Attorney's office in Cheyenne. "He's helped us somewhat toward that."

Last year, Milmont admitted to creating the so-called Nugache Worm, which spawned one of the first botnets to use a decentralized system to send instructions to drones, according to security researcher Dave Dittrich. The peer-to-peer mechanism was considered a break-through because it eliminated the need for a single master control channel. That made it much harder to shut down the botnet.

Milmont used AOL instant messenger and modified Limewire installation programs to spread Nugache. Once clicked on, the malware made unwitting users part of a botnet, which Milmont used to steal user names, passwords. and account numbers of those who were infected.

According to a plea agreement penned by Milmont, he also used the botnet to mount distributed denial-of-service attacks against an unnamed online business located in the Los Angeles area. The agreement went on to document the way he used credit card and other information to order merchandise that he had shipped to vacant homes in Cheyenne. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.