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Man Pleads Guilty To Cyber Crime

A man from Kentucky is sentenced for prison after being convicted in Detroit of charges that he carried out attacks on computers numbering in thousands and cutting them off from the Internet, as per the news published by Crime-research on June 22, 2007.

Jason Michael Downey, 24 and belonging to Dry Ridge, Kentucky admitted having committed computer fraud in order to operate a botnet. When Downey was pleading guilty in the court, the information presented there served as evidence of Downey's ownership of the Rizon.net Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network from June 18, 2004 to September 5, 2004.

Downey infected large number of computers with various kinds of bot viruses after which the computers responded to Downey's commands. He built a network with about 6,000 computers he had infected.

Through the Internet Relay Chat network, Downey controlled and issued commands to the botnet to hurl a series of 'Denial of Service' (DoS) attacks on different kinds of computer systems connected to the Internet. The attacks overloaded the systems with network data and therefore could not operate properly.

According to an agreement based on Downey's plea to the court, Downey faces a prison time of 18-24 months, a fine going up to $40,000, and perhaps pay around $21,000 in restitution to damages that federal authorities quantified with respect to denial of Internet service. Downey's act resulted in losses for over $20,000.

Downey operated the Internet chat network in Detroit where he was prosecuted as Detroit Federal Bureau of Investigation's cyber crime investigators identified his crime. The court was told that some of the compromised PCs were positioned in Michigan, and Detnews.com published it on June 20, 2007.

United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy commented that such botnets, which have a large number of computers under the command of one or a group of hackers, are capable of doing immense damage.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg informed the court that about six computer fraud cases had been prosecuted in the U.S. and Downey's was so far the only one in Michigan.

U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds will declare Downey's sentence on October 10, 2007.

Related article: Man Sues and Wins against ISP for Spamming Mail

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