• United States



by Paul Kerstein

Hacker Gets 57 Months in Prison

May 09, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Twenty-one-year-old hacker Jeanson James Ancheta of Downey, Calif., was sentenced to 57 months in prison for hacking into hundreds of thousands of computers and then renting the network of computers he shanghaied to spyware companies and spammers, The Washington Post reports.

The article states Ancheta admitted using Internet worms to seize control of huge numbers of PCs running on the Windows operating system. He then used those computers as a base for online ad-serving software that earned him more than $61,000 and a BMW car.

The Post reports that Ancheta also pleaded guilty to hacking into computers at the weapons division of the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake and the Defense Information Systems Agency, causing roughly $15,000 worth of damage.

A big win for the U.S. Justice Department, it is getting billed as “the first prosecution of its kind in the nation.” The story also reports that James Aquilina, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Ancheta on behalf of the federal government, called it the longest sentence ever handed down for a case involving the spreading of computer viruses.

“My hope is that this sentence will deter others from using botnets to commit crimes, especially the youthful ones who commit these crimes and think they’re immune from prosecution, that they’ll never get caught,” Anquilina told the Post.

For more on hacking, read How a Bookmaker and a Whiz Kid Took On an Extortionist – and Won and The Devil’s InfoSec Dictionary.

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By Paul Kerstein