41 months plus hefty fine for botherder

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jun 12, 2008

Cross-border operation brings adware crook to book.

A Florida man has been sentenced to 41 months in prison and fined $65,000 (approx. £32,000) after implanting bot software on systems belonging to a global corporation and using them to install adware.

When brought before US courts in March, the man, Robert Matthew Bentley of Panama City, Florida, admitted running the botnet campaign between October 2005 and November 2006, from which he netted profits via notorious Dutch firm Dollar Revenue for displaying advertising to his victims.

He was brought to justice following international cooperation between the US Secret Service, the UK Metropolitan Police's Computer Crime Unit (CCU), and UK-based security firm Sophos, after infected systems under his control were found in the European networks of multi-pronged global giant Newell Rubbermaid, who had been targeted by Bentley.

The strong sentence imposed was widely applauded by those involved with his capture, who emphasised the cross-border nature of the investigation. Bob Burls, a detective constable with the CCU, said 'regardless of where you are in the world, if you commit this type of crime, we will bring you to justice.'

'This sends out a strong message to would-be hackers that they could well end up behind bars,' commented Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. 'These types of prosecutions would not be possible without collaborative efforts between the security industry and the authorities.'

More details on the story can be found on the Sophos website here. The CCU's online presence is here.

Posted on 12 June 2008 by Virus Bulletin

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