Botmaster gets five years for hacking

Written by Wil Harris

May 9, 2006 | 15:24

Tags: #bot #hack #hacking #spyware #us #virus

A twenty-year-old, who used viruses to install spyware on machines that added to his network of bots, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Jeanson James Ancheta pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, fraud and damaging US government computers.

The tactic of using spyware to take over computers - to sell on that processing time to people wanting to send spam or carry out DDoS attacks - is not a new one, but Ancheta appears to have been the first one really taken to task for it. Ancheta had a network of over half a million computers. Prosecutors say that he was far more organised than other spyware writers and botnet ringers, because he had a whole business selling the computer space and even popping up advertising on user's machines.

Unfortunately, some of them belonged to the US government, and he was ordered to pay $15,000 in particular to the US Naval Air Warfare Center.

So, he faces 57 further months in the clink and then three years of supervision upon his release.

Is this an overly harsh sentence for merely 'botting' people's computers? Or an entirely deserved punishment for spywaring scum? Tell us what you think over in the forums.
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