October 24, 2006 4:22 PM PDT
Florida man charged in botnet attack on Akamai
A federal court in Boston on Tuesday heard charges that 32-year-old John Bombard of Seminole used a variant of the Gaobot e-mail worm to turn computers--including systems at two universities whose names have not been disclosed--into an arsenal of "zombies" or "bots" that he could control remotely.
He then used this network of hijacked computers, known as a "botnet," to send a massive amount of traffic to the domain name system (DNS) servers of the Global Traffic Management division of Akamai, prosecutors alleged. Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai provides caching services for Web sites belonging to big-name companies like Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Apple Computers, among others.
This distributed denial-of-service attack, launched June 15, 2004, rendered many of Akamai's clients' Web sites temporarily inaccessible, according to the charges.
The charges of hacking, or "intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization," carry potential penalties of up to two years' imprisonment and a $200,000 fine.
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