October 24, 2006 4:22 PM PDT

Florida man charged in botnet attack on Akamai

A Florida man has been charged with launching a distributed denial-of-service attack against servers run by Akamai Technologies.

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.

The case comes as botnet controllers are using increasingly sophisticated tactics. Major arrests were made over the summer, but attackers have kept up by writing new worms to maintain their zombie armies. In the meantime, Web browser manufacturers are striving to introduce more secure upgrades, like Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.

See more CNET content tagged:
Akamai Technologies Inc., e-mail worm, Florida, prosecutor, denial of service

3 comments

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Hire Hackers!
Akamai should of hired someone before this all happened or hired a hacker to protect their systems and all of this could of been avoided
Posted by kyle172 (65 comments )
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*yawn* Non Story
Yet another "fluff" story on News.com.

*yawn*

Old news and much ado about nada.
Posted by Mousefinger (34 comments )
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A couple of things about Akamai
The hack was launced Jun 15, 2004.

And the case is still pending... alleged. (i.e. no final outcome), so why print this article at all?

The only think I can think of is the very last statement!!!

>>>In the meantime, Web browser manufacturers are striving to introduce more secure upgrades, like Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.<<<

That's a Microsoft PLUG!!!

And an incorrect one at best. Microsoft is NOT striving to introduce more secure upgrades... they just continue to release one insecure browser after another!

So where's the story?

Walt
Posted by wbenton (522 comments )
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