Alleged Pop-Up Hacker Busted
Kevin Poulsen writes in Wired News:
In the first U.S. prosecution of its kind, FBI agents arrested a 20-year-old Los Angeles man Thursday on charges that he cracked some 400,000 Windows machines and covertly installed pop-up-generating adware on them, in a scheme that allegedly brought in $60,000 in ill-gotten profits.
Jeanson Ancheta faces a 17-count federal indictment charging him with two counts of conspiracy and various forms of computer intrusion and money laundering. The government is also seeking the seizure of more than $60,000 in cash, a used BMW and some computer equipment from the alleged hacker.
According to prosecutors, in 2004 and early 2005 Ancheta used a customized form of the "rxbot" Trojan horse program to find and take control of large collections of vulnerable PCs, spinning them into "botnets" capable of being directed as one. He then installed ad-delivery programs from two adware firms: Quebec-based Gammacash and LOUDcash, which was purchased by adware giant 180solutions and renamed ZangoCash earlier this year.