Would a botnet master make a good security employee?

A 27-year old man from Los Angeles who admitted infecting a quarter of a million computers with malware and stealing the identities and bank account details of thousands, has been sentenced to four years in jail.

John Schiefer pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and wiretapping, after he used a botnet (also known as a zombie network) of computers to commit his crimes.

Schiefer, who used the online handle “Acidstorm”, and his accomplices are said to have used the malware to secretly log the usernames and passwords of innocent computer users visiting sites like PayPal. Having stolen PayPal usernames and passwords, Schiefer and other gang members, made purchases from unwitting victims’ accounts.

What is bringing this case additional attention is an emotional blog posting by Schiefer’s boss, Jason Calacanis, the CEO of search firm Mahalo, who hired Schiefer…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.