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Cyber Justice Chronicles

A 21-year-old Panama City, Fla., man was sentenced this month to 41 months in prison for crashing the network of a major U.S. corporation by creating a moneymaking army of hacked Microsoft Windows machines.

Robert Matthew Bentley, a.k.a. "lsdigital," was imprisoned and ordered to pay $65,000 in restitution for the damage he inflicted on Newell Rubbermaid, whose network was temporarily crippled after Bentley and his unnamed co-conspirators installed ad-serving software on more than 100 computers owned by the company. A copy of Bentley's sentencing order is here (PDF), and his original indictment is here (PDF).

Prosecutors say Bentley and his cohorts made thousands of dollars in commissions working for the now defunct DollarRevenue.com, which paid "affiliates" a small sum each time they installed the company's adware.

In a related case, Gregory King, also 21, of Fairfield, Calif., pleaded guilty to using a large army of hacked PCs to conduct crippling online attacks against several targets, including CastleCops, an all-volunteer group that fights phishing and virus attacks. King, known online by various monikers as "Silenz," "SilenZ420" and "Gregk707," faces up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. King's indictment is here, and a copy of his plea agreement is available at this link (pdf).

Bentley and King were prosecuted as part of an ongoing series of investigations by the FBI and Secret Service known as Operation Bot Roast, an effort to pursue creators and operators of "botnets," large groupings of hacked, remote-controlled PCs that are used for a variety of online criminal moneymaking schemes.

By Brian Krebs  |  June 19, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Cyber Justice  
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