Former security consultant John Schiefer was sentenced to four years in federal prison for running a botnet that infected as many as 250,000 and stole passwords and account information. Schiefer was one of eight defendants nabbed two years ago in the FBI's Operation Bot Roast II investigation.
A 27-year-old Los Angeles man has
been hit with a four-year sentence in connection with his role in infecting as
many as 250,000 computers with malware in a plot to steal account data.
John Schiefer, who authorities said worked as a security consultant, was
sentenced March 4 in Los Angeles
federal court after pleading guilty last year to participating in a cyber-crime
ring that swiped password and account information from victims.
According to the government, Schiefer used a botnet to infect computers
across the United States.
After compromising a machine, the malware
enabled him and others to intercept Internet communications to PayPal and other
sites. The information was used to make purchases
and transfer funds without the account owner's consent. Some of the data was also passed on to others for use, authorities said.In addition to the financial fraud
against the owners of the compromised machines, Schiefer also defrauded
a Dutch advertising company by installing adware on zombie computers
without the victim's permission - a violation of his agreement with the
Dutch company.Schiefer faced up to 60 years in
prison. One of the eight
defendants nabbed in the FBI's "Operation Bot Roast II" investigation
in 2007, he must also pay $19,000 in restitution to PayPal and other
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