TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: California Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Hacking

California Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Hacking

Dan Goodwin (
Sat, 28 Jan 2006 22:05:07 -0600

By DAN GOODIN, AP Technology Writer

A 20-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to surreptitiously seizing
control of hundreds of thousands of Internet-connected computers and
renting the zombie network to people who mounted attacks on Web sites,
served up pop-up ads and sent out spam.

Jeanson James Ancheta, of Downey, Calif., pleaded guilty in U.S.
District Court in Los Angeles to four felony charges for crimes,
including infecting machines at two U.S. military sites, that earned
him more than $61,000, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Aquilina said.

Under a plea agreement, which still must be approved by a judge,
Ancheta will receive from 4 years to 6 years in prison, forfeit a 1993
BMW and more than $58,000 in profit and pay $19,000 in restitution to
the federal government to compensate for infecting the military
computers, according to documents filed in the case.

He is scheduled to be sentenced May 1.

Prosecutors said the case is the first to target profits derived from
use of 'botnets,' the term used to describe large numbers of infected
computers that work in unison to attack Web sites, send spam and carry
out other tasks.

The botnets feed off of vulnerabilities in computers that run
Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.

A November indictment charged Ancheta with 17 counts of conspiracy,
fraud and other crimes connected to a 14-month hacking spree that
started in June 2004.

Ancheta's crimes continued even after FBI agents raided his house in
Downey, about 13 miles southeast of Los Angeles, in December 2004,
authorities said.

'Part of what's most troubling about those who commit these kinds of
offenses is they think they'll never be caught,' said Aquilina, who
spent more than a year investigating Ancheta and several of Ancheta's
online associates who remain uncharged co-conspirators.

Ancheta's attorney, federal public defender Greg Wesley, did not
immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

The guilty plea comes less than a week after the FBI released a report
that estimates viruses, worms and Trojan horses like the ones Ancheta
used cost U.S. organizations such as Microsoft $11.9 billion each year.

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily. And, discuss this and other topics in our forum at (or)

For more news from Associated Press, please go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: John Horn: "MPAA Finds Itself Accused of Piracy, Hypocrisy"
Go to Previous message: Associated Press News Wire: "Man Sentenced for Stealing Microsoft Code"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page