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State of Technology: Beating Back Hackers

May 29th, 2006

At one point, Jeanson James Ancheta, a 21-year-old California hacker, had more than 400,000 compromised computers at his command. He and his ´botmaster underground´ cohorts would sell access to their ´botnet´ to third parties, which would use it to launch massive distributed denial-of-service attacks, disseminate a torrent of spam and install adware on unsuspecting users´ machines.

Earlier this month, Ancheta became the first person successfully prosecuted for building and using a botnet for malicious purposes. He´ll spend three years in prison, pay a fine of $15,000 and forfeit the proceeds of his crimes–more than $60,000 in cash, a BMW and assorted computer equipment.

While the G-men got their man, there are thousands of other Anchetas on the Internet, each using innovative attack tools, techniques and technologies to compromise networks and steal their way to more bandwidth, information and money. Ancheta´s use of botnets is just one example of the arms race in which security VARs are engaged. The attackers are equally as innovative, if not more so, than their white-hat counterparts.Read Full Story

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