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Spanish hacker jailed and fined

Date: February 08, 2006
Source: Sophos
By: Rich Kavanagh

26-year-old Santiago Garrido used a computer worm to launch Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks after he was expelled from the popular "Hispano" IRC chat room for not following rules. The attacks disrupted an estimated three million users of the Wanadoo, ONO, Lleida Net and other Internet service providers, amounting to a third of all of Spain's Internet users at the time of the offence in 2003.

Garrido, who went by the aliases "Ronnie" and "Mike25", was sentenced at a court in La Coruņa and also faces a $1.6 million fine.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos said,

"Many times hackers use DDoS techniques to try and blackmail the web site being attacked. On this occasion, it seems the hacker was so furious about being thrown out of a chat room that he resorted to a criminal act to wreak his revenge, and affected millions of Internet users. Hackers engaged in these kind of activities are guilty of a serious crime, and should be punished accordingly. The Spanish Civil Guard should be congratulated for seeing this case through to its conclusion."

Zombie computers can be used by criminal hackers to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks, spread spam messages or to steal confidential information. Sophos estimates that more than 60 percent of all spam today originates from zombie computers.
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