Guilty plea after botnet tested with DDoS on ISP

Two men allegedly tried to sell their 22,000 node botnet after launching a test attack on The Planet

The second man charged in 2006 computer attacks on The Planet and T35 Hosting has agreed to plead guilty.

According to court filings, Thomas James Frederick Smith is set to plead guilty before a federal judge in Dallas on June 10. He and David Anthony Edwards are facing five years in prison and fines of up to US$250,000 on charges that they assembled a 22,000 node botnet and then trained it on two ISPs to show a prospective buyer what it could do.

Edwards pleaded guilty to the charges before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle on April 29. He is set to be sentenced August 19. Before he decided to plead guilty, Smith's case had been set to go to trial next week.

Federal prosecutors say that Smith and Edwards -- known by their hacker handles Zook and Davus -- created a botnet they called Nettick, which they then tried to sell to cybercriminals, asking US$0.15 per infected computer.

To prove that they really controlled Nettick, the two allegedly trained it on a system hosted by The Planet, launching an August 2006 DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on the ISP.

Six weeks later, the two allegedly broke into Texas Web hosting provider T35 Hosting, stole the company's database of user names and passwords and then defaced T35's Web site, posting this data to the public. T35 is best known as the free ISP that had hosted the Web site of Joe Stack, who crashed his plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.

Shortly after the attack, Smith allegedly posted a message to the HelptingWebmasters.com, pretending to be an innocent witness to the incident. "I found out today at around 11:40 PM that the t35 Website was Completly [sic] defaced," Zook wrote in the post. "I posted it to a few news sites and noticed after posting them that the Mysql dumps were actually up for grabs... How are all the users going to be compensated? Im [sic] sure EVERYONES [sic] password was in that file..."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitybotnets

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?