US Botnet Hacker Jailed

hackerWell a bot… oops bit of good news on the spam front is that a hacker who sold a huge list of 70k+ of infected PCs to to spammers has been jailed in the USA, and good I say too as these people cause misery for many novice PC users as they can have personal data including banking information stolen from them.

I personally would not let him use a PC ever again and not a 3yr supervisory order, as I think for this level of criminality it should be one strike and your out!

“A US hacker who sold access to thousands of hijacked home computers has been jailed for 30 months.

Joshua Schichtel of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced for renting out more than 72,000 PCs that he had taken over using computer viruses.

Millions of PCs are enrolled in these networks, known as botnets, and many help to send out junk mail messages.

Schichtel’s customers installed their own malicious software on the PCs to aid their own cybercrime efforts.

As well as going to prison for 30 months, Schichtel was also sentenced to a three-year supervised release programme that he will serve after leaving jail. The supervision will tightly control his access to computers and the net.

In a brief statement about the case, the US Department of Justice said Schichtel pleaded guilty to one count of selling access to 72,000 machines that formed part of a bigger botnet he controlled.”

If you have any comments on this story then please do post a comment as I’m always interested in hearing other computer users thoughts on malware, spam and hacking.

Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

How to keep spam and junk from your Hotmail email account

HotmailEmail spam is a sad fact these days of the internet and those wishing to try and either infect you with malware to try and steal your hard earned cash from your bank, to conning you in to sending cash to some random Nigerian prince who has left you $1m in a will.

So how can you protect yourself, well if you have Microsoft’s Hotmail email (other email services such as Gmail, Yahoo etc can do similar) then you can use the hints and tips from the link below to read how to, “sweep it away”, “Manage Folders” to “Find and Filter email”.

Hotmail wantedunwanted

“Whether you’re a filer who keeps things tidy, or a piler with a bursting inbox, Hotmail has tools to help you get more done, so you can focus on the things that matter.

Sweep your way to a clean inbox

Do you dread opening your inbox after a long vacation? Luckily, Hotmail comes with Sweep, so you can automatically clean out your inbox whenever it needs it.

Imagine a world with no spammers

It’s hard to find important messages when your inbox is full of junk. That’s why Hotmail has taken a hammer to spam. With Microsoft SmartScreen—that’s the technology that governments and businesses use to fight spam—Hotmail now blocks 98 percent of all spam that tries to enter your inbox.

Follow up on important messages

Each day, new messages arrive and push down older ones in your inbox. When you flag a message, it stays at the top of your inbox until you decide what to do with it. That keeps you on track and on top of your busy life.”

Read the full guide and tips HERE

Rustock Spammers Sought

spam-e-mailThe Rustock spamming botnet was one of the biggest spamming nets in the world until its takedown in February of 2011, this has seen many users have slightly less spam email in their inbox than usual.

Now the authorities and companies involved with the removal of this botnet are after the creators, who that say may number in the handful.

The Rustock botnet, which sent up to 30 billion spam messages per day, might have been run by two or three people.

“It does not look like there were more than a couple of people running it to me,” said Alex Lanstein, a senior engineer at security firm FireEye, which helped with the investigation into Rustock.

That work by FireEye, Microsoft, Pfizer and others culminated on 16 February with simultaneous raids on data centres in seven US cities that seized 96 servers which had acted as the command and control (C&C) system for Rustock.

Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE