Player Roster: Botmasters

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-04-06 Print this article Print

A rundown on suspects and other convicted hackers.

Jeanson James Ancheta, a.k.a. "Resili3nt"
Downey, Calif.
A self-taught computer expert, according to his uncle and cousin, he pleaded guilty in January in federal court in Los Angeles to running botnets that infected at least 400,000 PCs, including some at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in California. The bots also installed adware that earned Ancheta nearly $60,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced in May. He faces up to 25 years in prison and a $1 million fine.


Christopher Maxwell, a.k.a. "donttrip"
Maxwell pleaded not guilty in March in federal court in Seattle to running botnets that attacked Seattle's Northwest Hospital. According to the U.S Attorney's Office, the attack disrupted doctors' pagers, operating room doors and hospital computers, including those in the intensive care unit. Maxwell and two co-conspirators are also accused of earning $100,000 in commissions when their botnets installed adware on PCs without owners' knowledge. Maxwell's attorney, Steven Bauer, did not return calls seeking comment.

Anthony Scott Clark, a.k.a. "Volkam"
In December, Clark pleaded guilty to spending the summer of 2003 attacking eBay with a botnet of more than 20,000 computers, with help from up to seven online cohorts. They didn't knock ebay.com offline completely but "impaired the integrity and availability" of the site and its data during July and August 2003, Clark admitted in his plea. He awaits sentencing, and faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Saad Echouafni, a.k.a. "Jay"
Echouafni is accused by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles of buying an Internet service provider and hiring people to launch denial-of-service attacks against competitors of his online satellite TV business. His attacks also disrupted the Department of Homeland Security and Amazon.com, according to a federal indictment. Echouafni has been a fugitive since 2004 and is on the FBI's most-wanted list in Los Angeles.

Jeffrey Lee Parson
Parson is 14 months into an 18-month sentence in federal prison for infecting at least 48,000 computers in the U.S. with a variant of the MS Blaster worm over four days in the summer of 2003. Parson's iteration included bot code, both to help spread the destructive worm by finding other vulnerable computers and to give him control of the PCs the worm touched.


James Aquilina
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Along with FBI Special Agent Cameron Malin, Aquilina spent a year investigating Ancheta. He says the challenge in prosecuting cybercrime cases is to present them so the average citizen can understand them. He has a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and describes himself as "a bit of a computer geek."

Cameron Malin
Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Malin is one of the FBI's cybercrime experts. He analyzed the FBI's computer evidence against Ancheta, which spanned 22 hard drives, 90 compact disks, five floppy diskettes, business records from 28 companies and Internet research.

Kenneth McGuire
Supervisory Special Agent
McGuire led FBI agents in two early morning raids of Ancheta's mother's house in Downey, Calif., to seize computers and other evidence. McGuire says that he never studied computers but has been learning on the job since 1992.


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