Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Texas Man to Plead Guilty to Building Botnet-For-Hire

Robert McMillan writes on PC World:

A Mesquite, Texas, man is set to plead guilty to training his 22,000-PC botnet on a local ISP -- just to show off its firepower to a potential customer.

David Anthony Edwards will plead guilty to charges that he and another man, Thomas James Frederick Smith, built a custom botnet, called Nettick, which they then tried to sell to cybercriminals at the rate of US$0.15 per infected computer, according to court documents.

On August 14, 2006, Smith and Edwards allegedly used part of Nettick to attack a computer hosted by The Planet. Apparently, that was just a test, to show that the botnet was for real. "After the test, the bot purchaser agreed to buy the source code and the entire botnet for approximately $3,000," prosecutors say in the indictment against the two men.

Edwards will plead guilty Thursday in federal court in Dallas, according to his attorney, Mick Mickelsen. Smith has pleaded innocent in the case and is set to go to trial on May 17. Both men face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on one count of conspiring to cause damage to a protected computer and to commit fraud.

More here.


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