Install a Botnet, Get Slapped with Wiretap Charges

A 26-year old man decided the easiest way to make a fast buck was to install botnets, illegally use PayPal accounts, and defraud an advertising company.

Twenty-six year old Los Angeles resident John Schiefer pled guilty to "accessing protected computers to conduct fraud, disclosing illegally intercepted electronic communications, wire fraud and bank fraud." A spokesperson for the US Attorney's Office said that the case represents "the first time in the nation that someone has been charged under the federal wiretap statute for conduct related to botnets."

Schiefer admitted that he and cohorts installed botnet software that eavesdropped on various Internet communications, including PayPal account transactions. He then used the information to make purchases using stolen account information. Scheifer also defrauded a Dutch advertising company by installing adware on roughly 150,000 systems that were part of his botnet.

Because of his actions, Schiefer faces up to 60 years in prison and as much as $1.75 million in fines.

TAGS: Security
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