Under the US federal wiretap statute, John Schiefer has been charged with conducting illegal botnet activities. eWeek reports that Schiefer has pleaded guilty to four felony counts, namely accessing protected computers to conduct fraud, disclosing illegally intercepted electronic communications, wire fraud, and bank fraud.
Schiefer and his gang reportedly infected almost 250,000 vulerable computers to create a botnet that can mine PayPal user names and passwords, and other personal or financial information. The botherder is facing a maximum sentence of 60 years imprisonment and a fine of $1.75 million.
This is the first criminal case of its kind and we certainly hope it won’t be the last. Pokemon heroes got it right when they say, “Gotta catch ’em all!” because the botnet problem will continue to be a problem otherwise.