How cybercrime pays

How cybercrime pays

Summary: Worth reading: Rob Vamosi has the inside story on how James Ancheta became an American cybervillain. He's not part of the Russian cybermafia, just a 20-year old California lad who pled guilty last week to four felony counts for creating a worm and amassing about 40,000 bot machines, including some from classified Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and profiting via serreptitiously installing adware on machines and collecting payments.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Reviews
6

Worth reading: Rob Vamosi has the inside story on how James Ancheta became an American cybervillain. He's not part of the Russian cybermafia, just a 20-year old California lad who pled guilty last week to four felony counts for creating a worm and amassing about 40,000 bot machines, including some from classified Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and profiting via serreptitiously installing adware on machines and collecting payments.

Topic: Reviews

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Wow

    I wonder how much he earned
    david.mcdonald
  • Hardly a criminal... more like a misled kid

    Look at the story this way:
    This 20 year old kid works at a Internet cafe, simple job with lots of time. Surfs the web until he finds this hacker site with some trojans he can easily download and play with. Tries them for a while in available computers and figures out he can do a lot with them. You can even assume he boasts about this with friends and does a couple of pranks. Then he starts spreading them around... he might not even have a clear motive but it means fun, and power in the end.
    Then he finds a way to make money out of it.
    Quite a logical and even predictable outcome, right?
    Its really all about ethics, this guy should have stopped at some point, but he had the power of all these computers he had infected, the nice easy income, the "safety" (he clearly missed that one but with with everything we find in the media and all these hacker sites he probably thought it shouldnt be a problem). He did not use sophisticated methods, he got help when he couldnt handle the work, he is not at all the stereotype of a cybercriminal.
    Can you find a particular point in all this that's absolutely wrong? EVERYTHING is, but not 100% and thats the problem, and there is no solution to it! There will always be fallible laws, breakable computers, misleading sites, easy money, and finally crime...

    ETHICS is the only factor you can alter here.
    sscarfo
    • No, He's a criminal

      He knowinly broke into computers withut prior authorization and intentionally installed software that he knew would be unwelcome and decrease performance and pray on the weaknesses of the weak.
      daver_z
    • No Solution, but an appropriate response

      To say that there is ?no solution? is hardly a worth while point to make as I think its commonly understood that there is no solution, as in a way to prevent, any crimes. For the foreseeable future, we are bound to have every type and variety of crime we know of continue on to varying degrees in various locations at various times and points in history, but this is hardly reason to simply water down an egregious instance of any crime to a point that its simply equated as the activities of a ?mislead kid?.
      Most crimes committed by most people of all ages are the results of flawed upbringings combined with social and or economic disadvantage with detrimental influences from unsavory types combined with poor, or all too often horrible choices made on the part of the would be criminal. To the largest of degrees this amounts to a mislead person, kid or not. So often we equate the errors made by children or young people as errors they would not have made if they were old enough to know better and are simply being punished for the poor choices and indiscretions that are an all too inevitable part of being young that is not entirely their own fault. Of course if this was the case we would not have any adults in jail as adults would not have to face these unavoidable perils of immaturity that lead to criminal acts. And that of course is ludicrous.
      Clearly this young man, however socially disadvantaged or however poor his upbringing may or may not have been, was not an imbecile who was mentally incompetent. Foolish yes but brainless no.
      The fact remains that the cyber espionage and internet pollution that is at its worst is found precisely in the very type of activities this individual was involved with and there is no doubt to characterize those activities as anything less then what they amount to will simply lead to punishments that will do little if anything to at least deter some who plan to dabble in such activities in the future.
      While we are no more likely to solve internet based crime then any other criminal activity, these type of crimes do need an appropriate response that sends a strong message of societies reprehension at such activities if we hope to at least minimize there pervasiveness in the future.
      Cayble
  • Virus Companies or Antivirus companies, that is the question

    I feel ecstatic when I read about how a virus writer got caught, I sincerely hope his or her punishment is severe to the max.
    I believe however, that Viruii are in fact written primarily by antivirus companies themselves, with the codes sold to each other AV company in order to force/ create a market for themselves.
    I believe that the world is held to ransom by antivirus companies such that if we dont pay our regular update fees, we become immediately susceptible to their latest bug.
    Think about it, who checks up on the antivirus companies?
    Why is the latest update always ready for the latest bug just before the bug goes out?
    How many billions of dollars does it take before a company loses its ethics?
    Or is that how they became a billion dollar company?
    By scaring the public and creating a need, a necessity, an "or else".
    Buzzbuttons
    • Antivirus companies, that is the question

      It is not the Question it is the Answer.
      Just like the companies who include spyware as part of a new game or software package to gain illicit income from so called marketing firms many of the Antivirus programs detect not only imaginary threats but also install some not very nice elements on to your PC.Check it out with some programs that freely detect this crap .
      blind1