Framed for Child Porn
Inspired by the Story of Ned Solon
HomeNed's StoryNewspaper ArticlesLegal DocumentsAdam Walsh ActProtect YourselfSpecial ThanksContact Us
Teenager confesses to being Nugache botnet mastermind

Teenager confesses to being Nugache botnet mastermind
Worm author confesses after FBI investigation

Posted by Sophos, 30 June 2008

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have welcomed news that a teenager has confessed to controlling thousands of computers in an illegal botnet.

Hackers can make money by controlling compromised computers. Image copyright (c) Sophos

Jason Milmont has agreed to plead guilty to illegally controlling a sophisticated botnet of between 5,000 and 15,000 computers. 
 

19-year-old Jason Michael Milmont, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, has admitted to being the programmer of the Nugache malware which infected Windows computers, turning them into a sophisticated botnet for illegal purposes such as identity theft.

Milmont operated the botnet between March and September 2007, having set up a bogus website which claimed to offer a free installation of the peer-to-peer filesharing program Limewire. However, the program was secretly infected by Milmont with the Nugache malware. He also took over infected computers to send AOL instant messages to victims' "buddies", directing them to websites hosting malware.

Milmont used stolen bank information to take over victims' accounts, and order goods to be sent to vacant addresses in the Cheyenne, Wyoming area.

Nugache was one of the first botnets to be controlled via P2P technology, making it harder to identify and shutdown the network's controller. On average, Milmont controlled between 5,000 and 15,000 compromised PCs at any one time.

"There was speculation that a Russian criminal mastermind must be behind the Nugache malware attack, so it may surprise some to see a teenager from Wyoming taking the rap for this cybercrime," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Regardless of who was responsible for the botnet, the fact remains that innocent people had their computers broken into, and money stolen from their accounts. The authorities should be applauded for bringing another cybercriminal to justice."

For his offences, Milmont can receive a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a fine of $250,000, but as he has entered into a plea agreement this is likely to be taken into account by the authorities when sentencing. Milmont has agreed to pay $73,866 in restitution.

Sophos experts report that this is just the latest in a string of arrests made by police around the world in their fight against organized cybercriminals. For instance, earlier this month Sophos reported on how it had worked with the international cybercrime-fighting authorities to bring an American botnet master to justice.

Sophos recommends all computer users protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can control network access and defend against the threats of spam, hackers, spyware and viruses.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing security and data protection solutions that are simple to manage, deploy and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, and network access control solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers. With more than two decades of experience, Sophos is regarded as a leader in security and data protection by top analyst firms and has received many industry awards.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.

See also:

 


Framed for child porn -- by a PC virus
Trojan horse found responsible for child porn
Wyoming crime unit busts Internet child predators
The Dark World of Child Porn
Child porn conviction of ex-airman vacated
Malware-Driven Child Porn Raises Red Flag
State worker cleared on child porn charges due to malware
Man cleared as child porn possession blamed on virus
Teenager confesses to being Nugache botnet mastermind
Hacker behind P2P botnet gets no jail time
P2P Botnet Pioneer Avoids Jail Time
LimeWire ID Theft Case Raises P2P Concerns
Highly Unlikely a Virus Would Place Images on Your Computer
Child Porn: Malware's ultimate evil
Child Pornography Virus
Multiple Cases of Viruses Downloading Child Pornography
Child porn-planting virus: Threat or bad defense?
Viruses
Why is Child Pornography on Your PC?
Viruses can lead to child porn on your computer
Frame-Up Virus Could Haunt Government Departments
Montpelier man charged in Internet child porn scam
Child porn task force arrests 44
Child Pornography Virus
The Importance of Aggressive Defense
Preventing Online Child Porn Viewing
Jury convicts man on child porn charges
Conviction Upheld Despite Judge's Exit
Court upholds Casper man's child porn conviction
Court upholds child porn conviction
Casper man will appeal child porn conviction
Attorney will appeal Casper man's case
Investigator urges better computer crime analysis
Solon Attorney asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear case
Child porn appeal now in the hands of high court
US Supreme Court denies Solon child porn appeal
Casper man makes final appeal
HomeNed's StoryNewspaper ArticlesLegal DocumentsAdam Walsh ActProtect YourselfSpecial ThanksContact Us