Hacker who infected 72,000 computers gets 30-month prison term

Hacker who infected 72,000 computers gets 30-month prison termAccording to a recent revelation by the Department of Justice (DoJ), Phoenix man Joshua Schichtel, 30, who pleaded guilty last August to having created a botnet which devastated nearly 72,000 computers, has been sentenced to prison.

As per the DoJ announcement, Schichtel was sentenced to a 30-month prison term on Thursday, for "selling command-and-control access to and use of thousands of malware-infected computers."

Schichtel had already pleaded guilty to using botnets for infecting computers, when on August 17, 2011, in Washington, D. C., he admitted that he had violated the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by trying to wreak havoc on numerous computers without authorization, and by the transmitting programs, codes and commands.

Schichtel - who has supposed links with a hacking group which used denial-of-service attacks to target businesses - was quite a unique hacker, in the sense that instead of infecting computers for his own advantage, he sold botnets to customers who seemingly lacked the `technical expertise' for creating their own malware.

Though it is still not clear as to how many people Schichtel had rented command-and-control access to different malware, the hacker has admitted that he controlled a botnet of as many as 72,000 computers.

About Schichtel's modus operandi, the DoJ said in as statement: "Individuals who wanted to infect computers with various different types of malicious software (malware) would contact Schichtel and pay him to install, or have installed, malware on the computers that comprised those botnets."