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Innovation

Former YouSendIt chief accused of DoS attack

Khalid Shaikh has been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly launching four denial-of-service attacks against his ex-employer
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

A former chief executive of file-transfer service YouSendIt has been accused of launching denial-of-service attacks against the company.

Khalid Shaikh, who is also a co-founder of YouSendIt, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, the FBI said in a statement on Friday.

Shaikh, who left the firm in November 2006, is accused of launching four denial-of-service (DoS) attacks against YouSendIt's San Jose-based web servers. Shaikh allegedly used an Apache http server benchmarking tool called ApacheBench to launch the attacks between December 2008 and June 2009. He denies the charges.

"Each DoS attack temporarily rendered the servers incapable of handling legitimate network traffic and deprived YouSendIt's customers use of the company's services," said the FBI statement.

Shaikh has been indicted on four counts of mail fraud, each of which carry a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 (£150,000). If found guilty, Shaikh may also have to pay restitution. The charges are the result of an FBI investigation.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Shaikh was chief executive of YouSendIt from January 2004 to August 2005, then chief technology officer to November 2006. From March 2007 to September 2008, he was chief executive of FlyUpload, a photo-, video- and audio-sharing service.

High-profile computer attacks allegedly launched by employees or ex-employees include former Fannie Mae contractor Rajendrasinh Makwana, and San Francisco network administrator Terry Childs. Makwana allegedly planted a Unix bomb on Fanny Mae's servers following his dismissal in 2008, while Childs allegedly took control of the city of San Francisco's systems following a dispute last year.

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