The alleged ‘commander’ of a 400,000 strong botnet has been arrested in the US, in the first US case brought.
The 20 year old, Jeanson James Ancheta, of Downey, California received a knock on the door from FBI agents on Thursday. He was subsequently charged with spreading a Trojan horse program, “rxbot,”, and in the process building a network of around 400,000 infected computers.
The FBI say he used IRC (Internet Relay Chat) to command this network to do his bidding.
He looks like he’s in pretty big trouble as he’s been charged with 17 counts, including conspiracy, transmission of code to a protected computer, to a government computer, and multiple counts of fraud and money laundering.
The cheeky young scamp even advertised his botnet to be available from such pleasantries as spam and DoS (denial of service) attacks.
His fiendish plans didn’t stop there, they think he also received $60k from what is being referred to as an “unnamed advertising service company” and in return he popped their advertising gunk on the infected machines under his control.
We hope that if this is proved to be true, not only are the advertising company going to be chased down, but the advertisers are too.
Among the computers infected were some from the Weapons Division of the US Naval Air Warfare Center, and machines belonging to the US Department of Defense’s Defense Information Systems Agency, according to a statement from Debra Wong Yang, US Attorney for the Central District of California.
You have to question how a computer at somewhere that sounds quite that serious has the opportunity to get infected
As ever, all of this is alleged and we await the outcome of the court case to find out if he actually did carry it out.