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California man accused of DOSing site he founded

Former YouSendIt CEO and (very) prolific iPhone developer

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Federal prosecutors have accused a co-founder of YouSendIt.com of repeatedly launching web attacks against the popular upload site.

Khalid Shaikh, who was CEO and CTO of the California-based company until he left in 2006, used an Apache benchmarking program to flood YouSendIt servers with more traffic than they could handle, according to documents filed in US District Court in Northern California. Prosecutors allege Shaikh launched the denial of service attacks on four occasions, starting in December 2008 and ending the following June.

"By transmitting the ApacheBench program to YouSendIt's servers, Shaikh was able to overwhelm the server's capabilities and render it unable to handle legitimate network traffic," an indictment filed Wednesday stated.

Shaikh told The Register the allegations are untrue.

"I'm very excited about being able to talk to a judge," said Shaikh, who said he's 32 years old. "They spin a very good story."

Shaikh said he and a brother co-founded YouSendIt in 2004 and ended up leaving the company following differences with the company's investors and remaining executives.

It's not the first time Shaikh has been in the news. In August, Mobile Crunch reported he had been banned from Apple's App Store after flooding it with more than 943 apps over a 250-day period. The publication claimed many of the apps were of dubious value. One, for instance, did nothing more than pull the latest headlines from the World Wrestling Entertainment website.

An auction for Perfect Acumen, the name of Shaikh's iPhone app business, ended without a buyer.

Shaikh said it was true his company submitted more than 900 iPhone apps, but disputed they were of questionable value. Contrary to what some developers have claimed, he insisted none of his apps violated the copyrights of others.

If convicted on all four felony counts in this week's indictment, Shaikh faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and $1m in fines. He said a court arraignment is scheduled for December 3. ®

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