'Botmaster' admits infecting 250,000 computers

A Los Angeles man on Friday admitted infecting 250,000 computers and stealing the identities of thousands of people by wiretapping their communications and accessing their bank accounts. John Schiefer, 26, agreed to plead guilty to four counts of fraud and wiretap charges that could lead to a $1.75 million fine and send him to prison for up to 60 years, the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's office said.

Prosecutors said Schiefer and an unspecified number of conspirators installed malicious computer code that acted as a wiretap on compromised computers and intercepted messages to Paypal and similar Web sites. He retrieved usernames and passwords and used them to access an unknown number of bank accounts. Prosecutors said they were still investigating the dollar amount stolen and the number of victims.

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13 Comments

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Yeah, I don't agree with what he's done. Its too soon to throw his hole life away. Kevin Mitnick didn't do anywhere near as much time. IMO, I think this is just the draconian Homeland Security Laws at work here.

But the people at Enron and the Mortgage Housing scams have made people homeless, broke, bankrupt, without retirement savings, and had devastating impact on US and global economics.

The 250,000 effected here are nowhere near as damaged as victims from either of the above scams.

exactly!

but i dont think this guy should get anywhere near close to 60 years in prison.... sure he should pay a big fine and probably spend some time in jail but 60 years in unreasonable.. cause it aint like he raped/murdered someone.

ThaCrip said,
exactly!

but i dont think this guy should get anywhere near close to 60 years in prison.... sure he should pay a big fine and probably spend some time in jail but 60 years in unreasonable.. cause it aint like he raped/murdered someone.

no he just murdered/raped them in the financial sense which nowadays is worse not to mention he did it to half a million people.

Totally agree, but 250,000 counts of anything will get you a pretty long sentence

(I'm being facetious here, partially)

shakey said,
my roommate got hacked by this f00 lol

Riight... I'm sure it wasn't any of the million other botnets going around that he was infected with...