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Blitzer
06-19-2007, 15:06
FBI Arrests, Charges Three Botnet Operators
ARTICLE DATE: 06.14.07
By Chloe Albanesius

The FBI and Department of Justice have arrested three individuals accused of assembling botnets, a network of compromised PCs.
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The move is part of a larger, government crackdown on the practice, dubbed Operation Bot Roast.

James Brewer of Texas, Jason Michael Downey of Kentucky and Robert Alan Soloway of Seattle have been charged with infecting thousands of computers nationwide.

Brewer allegedly operated a botnet that infected Chicago area hospitals, among other targets. Downey is accused of using botnets to overload systems and then take them offline. Soloway, meanwhile, allegedly sent spam e-mails with advertisements for his Web site, which infected its visitors.

Botnets are particularly dangerous because users rarely know that their computers have been infected. Botnets occur when a number of computers have been infected with viruses and are used collectively to commit crimes like identity theft, denial of service attacks, phishing, click fraud and the distribution of spam and spyware.

The government is working in conjunction with the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University as well as industry partners like Microsoft to uncover these schemes. The effort has thus far uncovered more than 1 million computer IP addresses infected by botnets. The FBI and DOJ are working to contact those who have been affected by the scam.

"The majority of victims are not even aware that their computer has been compromised or their personal information exploited," James Finch, FBI assistant Director for the cyber division, said in a statement. "Citizens can protect themselves from botnets and the associated schemes by practicing strong computer security habits to reduce the risk that your computer will be compromised."

That includes updating anti-virus software, installing firewalls and using strong passwords, according to Finch. The FBI will not contact users about botnets via the Internet, however, so Finch warned against responding to any e-mails that claim to be from the government as they could contain viruses.

In a related act, the U.S. Congress is currently working on passing an anti-spyware bill.

Bots (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2146395,00.asp)

lens
06-19-2007, 17:11
I knew that this scumbag's name was familiar to me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Soloway

Hope they bury him so deep that he turns brown!