Worldwide the interest from the law enforcing organizations towards rolling up botnets is increasing. Only a month ago the Dutch police arrested three men who were controlling a net containing an estimated 1500000 machines.
Now Jeanson James Ancheta, 20, of Downey, California has been arrested last Tuesday by the FBI. Apparently it is the first time that a person has been arrested who is selling time on his botnet to outsiders.
He will have to stand trial for a total of 17 counts, including causing damage to protected computers, causing damage to computers owned by the government, fraud and money laundering. Machines found in the potnet belonged to the Weapons Division of the United States Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake and the Defense Information Systems Agency, both part of the United States Department of Defense.
He also used his botnet for sending spam and DDoS.
He used IRC both to control the bots, and to advertise his ‘services’ to interested parties.
If convicted, he can face up to 50 years in prison.