Botnet operator sent to prison
Joshua Schichtel, a 30-year-old man from Arizona who sold access to botnets he created to third parties, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison in the US. According to a news release by the US Department of Justice, he had pleaded guilty at the US Federal District Court in Washington, DC in August last year.
In this court appearance, he was ultimately sentenced for having infected 72,000 computers with malware and for having sold access to these computers. The Department of Justice says that Schichtel charged an access fee of $1,500, or could be contracted by third parties to infect computers to create new botnets. In addition to his prison term, he was ordered to serve three years of supervised release.
Schichtel had attracted attention in previous investigations. For example, in 2004, he and various others were accused of having used infected computers to launch DDoS attacks on e-commerce web sites. On that occasion the charges were dropped after the indictment was filed too late with the court.